Senator John Hoeven today outlined his new legislation, the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act of 2012 (DEJA), at Tubular Transport and Logistics (TTL), a pipeline delivery company located at Bismarck's Northern Plains Commerce Center, to underscore America's need for robust energy infrastructure as part of a comprehensive plan to jumpstart America's energy industry, boost the economy and create jobs for the nation.
DEJA is a wide-ranging package of 13 diverse energy bills, addressing both traditional and renewable development, designed to streamline and simplify regulations, boost domestic energy supplies, build American energy infrastructure and safeguard America's supply of critical minerals used in modern high-tech manufactured products such as cell phones and computers.
On hand for today's event were Congressman Rick Berg, Justin Glasser, yard manager of Tubular Transport and Logistics (TTL), David Straley of North American Coal, Ron Ness of the North Dakota Petroleum Council and Andrea Stomberg, MDU Vice President of Electrical Supply.
Hoeven cited Tubular Transport and Logistics as a good example of how a strong energy agenda can help drive the economy and create jobs. TTL came to Bismarck in 2011 to help meet the growing demand for tubing and casing in the Bakken oil fields. As a result, the venture has doubled the size of the rail yard and created 16 new jobs as well as supporting local businesses and contractors.
He said Bismarck-based MDU is a diversified utility and construction company that employs nearly 8,000 people in a multistate region, including North Dakota. The company has interests in a number of Bakken oil and gas pipelines and facilities and is planning to build an $85.6 million, 88 megawatts natural gas-fired power plant adjacent to its coal-fired facility north of Mandan. The senator said growth has been driven by increased demand for electricity and new opportunities in North Dakota's energy industry.
"The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act takes a comprehensive approach to developing our nation's vast energy resources, both traditional and renewable, and that includes developing critical infrastructure like safe and efficient pipeline systems," Hoeven said. "The nation, like North Dakota, is blessed with an abundance of energy resources and the entrepreneurial talent to develop them, but robust delivery systems, as well as the right kind of legal, tax and regulatory environment, are essential to harnessing our resources. In fact, we need to take the same kind of inclusive, step-by-step approach that we've used in North Dakota to the national level in order to create jobs, lift up our economy and bolster America's energy security."
"The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act is a critical piece of legislation that can help to get our entire economy back on track," Congressman Rick Berg said. "I'm pleased that Senator Hoeven has introduced legislation similar to energy legislation we worked on in the House. In North Dakota we have the lowest unemployment rate in the country and we're seeing unprecedented economic growth. A large part of this success is due to our comprehensive energy policy and commonsense regulatory environment, and there is no reason why we should not be taking this proven approach to domestic energy production and applying it nationwide."
"The economic climate in Bismarck has been overwhelmingly positive," said Rick McLeod, Partner of Tubular Transport & Logistics. "The opportunities to expand our operations and contribute further to local job growth have been directly related to the continued support for safe and efficient energy exploration in North Dakota." McLeod also commented that "With the great people and supportive business environment, TTL looks forward to further expansion and continuing to hire additional people to support the growing economy in North Dakota."
"A national policy that seriously embraces an all-of-the-above approach to domestic energy development is long overdue," said Andrea Stomberg, vice president of electric supply for Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. "Our parent company, MDU Resources Group, has a unique perspective on the value of a comprehensive approach because our businesses work with a wide range of natural resources, including solar, wind, oil, natural gas and coal. At our operations around the country and here in North Dakota, we see first-hand how a policy that is inclusive across all natural resources, rather than selectively exclusive, can help our country develop a sustainable energy independence, create jobs and build a strong economy."
Hoeven this week led a group of U.S. Senate and House leaders, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in launching DEJA, a comprehensive package of energy legislation that will not only help to reduce the high energy costs faced by hard-working families and small businesses, but also spur badly-needed economic growth and job creation across the U.S. economy.
The senator said the bicameral initiative embraces a true all-of-the-above approach to energy development that will help drive America's overall economic recovery and enhance the nation's energy security.