Hoeven supports energy development on federal lands

Federal lands should be opened up for energy development and myriad other uses, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) said during a Sept. 2 roundtable discussion held in Bismarck, N.D. 

“Energy development on federal lands, including the National Grasslands, is a significant source of revenue for federal and state governments, helping us to invest in our priorities while also supporting good jobs for our residents,” Sen. Hoeven said during the roundtable with U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment James Hubbard, North Dakota energy producers, and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) officials.

The senator also outlined his efforts as chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies to address the backlog of oil and gas leasing permit requests on the Dakota Prairie Grasslands. 

Specifically, Sen. Hoeven has been working to fill vacant USFS positions at the Dakota Prairie Grasslands offices to hasten the processing of Surface Use Plans of Operations (SUPO).

For example, Sen. Hoeven secured language in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill to prioritize hiring staff and filling vacant positions responsible for reviewing and issuing permits on the National Grasslands, and following a meeting he had last year with the USFS chief, the agency implemented a 10 percent group retention incentive for all Forest Service employees in Bismarck, Dickinson and Watford City, N.D., according to his office.

“Permitting delays create unnecessary costs for producers and hamper local economies, and I appreciate the Forest Service for working with us to address their staffing shortage and reduce the backlog in permit requests,” Sen. Hoeven said during the roundtable. “These efforts, combined with updated management plans for the grasslands, are an important part of maintaining our nation’s energy security and will help ensure we can continue growing our state’s leadership in energy production.”