Senator pushes back on Biden energy policies

Charles Crane/MDN Sen. John Hoeven fields a question from the Minot Area Chamber EDC Energy Committee on Friday as he discussed federal energy policies and their effect on the North Dakota energy industry.

The Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Committee gathered on Friday, to listen to Sen. John Hoeven as he addressed the Biden administration’s environmental agenda and outlined his own efforts to support domestic energy production.

While the Biden administration has recently been pushed by court rulings into resuming some oil and gas lease sales for federal land, it has placed significant limitations on the amount of land available for lease and hiked the royalties due to them. Hoeven noted that this would negatively impact future energy development and ultimately lead to higher prices for consumers.

“The wrong policy in Washington is hurting us.” said the senator, “We have the highest inflation we’ve had in 40 years. Inflation is a tax on everyone. Energy is a huge part of what drives inflation.”

Hoeven noted a number of policy shifts from the Biden administration that moved the nation from a position of energy independence toward a reliance on foreign energy, often from adversarial countries like Russia and Iran.

“One of the first things they do is cancel things like the Keystone Pipeline, so they make it harder for pipelines and gathering systems to move gas around this country.” Hoeven said.

The senator highlighted the drop-off in production of oil nationwide and in North Dakota as a cause for concern, not only for the United States but for countries in western Europe who remain dependent on energy and resources from Russia.

“Russia invades Ukraine, but our allies in western Europe are buying oil and gas from Russia, hundreds of millions of dollars that funds the Russian war machine.” said Hoeven. “Energy security is national security.”

When asked by the committee about the federal government’s desire to shift the nation toward electric cars by 2035, Hoeven emphasized that an all-encompassing approach toward energy was the only way to make such a shift possible.

“This is very clear that you need both. Fundamentally we better be producing energy from all these sources. For the Biden administration to come in and say, ‘Well, we’re just going to move away from oil and gas,’ well look at what’s happening. You got rampant inflation, as well as huge problems in terms of geopolitical ramifications.” Hoeven said.

When asked about possible tariffs or sanctions on all foreign oil imports, the senator voiced support instead for a domestic energy industry that would be supported rather than constrained by federal policy.

“The best approach is that we create an environment here for investment, research, development, and innovation so that we in America will continue to produce the best technology that enables us to out compete parts of the world.” the senator concluded.


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