Today, Congressman Kevin Cramer introduced his first bill in the United States House of Representatives with Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD), and Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT). The bill amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to include the states of North Dakota and South Dakota in a Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Miles City, MT Field Office is already participating in. The Project was established to improve the coordination and processing of oil and natural gas permitting for onshore Federal lands. The BLM manages nearly 2 million subsurface acres of mineral estate in North Dakota.
"Permits to drill on Federal lands exceeded 225 days for the past 4 years when non-Federal permits in North Dakota take only 10 days," Cramer said. "This bill helps reduce the amount of time it takes a business to gain a permit and as a result gets more Americans back to work sooner."
Beyond the passage of this bill, Cramer hopes this is the beginning of a larger conversation to improve the amount of time it takes to process drilling permits on Federal lands.
Senator John Hoeven introduced and passed the same bill in the 112th Congress. It did not pass in the House. Senator Hoeven and Senator Heidi Heitkamp reintroduced the legislation in the Senate last week.
"By introducing the same bill in both houses of Congress we can get the bill passed and more Americans back to work sooner," Cramer concluded.