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House Committee Holds Hearing On Congressman Kevin Cramer’s Bill

Mar 22, 2013
Press Release
Bill Seeks To Improve The Efficiency Of Processing Oil And Natural Gas Permits

Washington, DC – Today, the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an Oversight Hearing and a Legislative Hearing on a number of bills, including Congressman Kevin Cramer’s bill H.R. 767 that modifies the Pilot Project offices of the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. 

“I was pleased to hear Acting Deputy Director Jamie Connell’s testimony and to have the opportunity to ask her some questions on my bill at today’s hearing,” Cramer said.

In North Dakota, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received 701 applications for permits to drill (APDs) in fiscal year 2012 compared to 147 APDs in fiscal year 2009, almost a 400% increase in three years.  The bill would allow BLM’s Field Office in Dickinson, North Dakota to participate in the Pilot Project that intends to improve the efficiency of processing oil and natural gas permits. 

“Additional resources, such as personnel devoted to processing oil and gas use authorizations, have enabled the various bureaus and agencies to increase the pace of permitting and completing environmental reviews, particularly given the complex resource issues we face,” Connell said in her testimony.  “The pilot project offices are also better staffed to help new industry permitting specialist understand the BLM’s requirements for obtaining an oil and gas use authorization.”   

Deputy Director Connell also shed light on North Dakota’s “world class oil resource” that can be brought to the surface and made available to the American public.  Last week Congressman Cramer submitted into the Congressional Record a recent study that stated the oil and gas industry has contributed more than $30.4 billion to the economy of North Dakota and added nearly 60,000 jobs in the state in 2011.

“Permits on Federal lands continue to take hundreds of days to process while they average ten days for state and private lands in North Dakota,” Cramer said.  “It’s important to have North Dakota in this Pilot Project to compare and contrast it with what’s happening on state and private lands in North Dakota.”

Senator John Hoeven has introduced similar legislation with Senator Heidi Heitkamp in the Senate.  Congressman Kevin Cramer is a member of the Natural Resources and Science, Space and Technology House Committees, including the Natural Resource Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, and Subcommittee on Energy of the House Science Space and Technology Committee.