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Hoeven: BLM must be good neighbor

WASHINGTON – Proposed regulations of the Bureau of Land Management will harm the property rights of North Dakotans, according to Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND.

At a hearing of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this week, Sen. Hoeven pressed Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning to be a better neighbor to property owners, grazers and energy developers in North Dakota.

The draft Resource Management Plan preferred by BLM would close off leasing to 45% of potential federal oil and gas acreage and 95% of federal coal acreage, he said. The BLM’s Public Lands Rule seeks to establish restoration or mitigation leases, potentially locking away up to 245 million taxpayer-owned acres.

“Not only do these rules prevent the U.S. from developing its vast, taxpayer-owned oil, gas and coal reserves, but because these resources are often co-located with privately-owned minerals, they restrict the ability of private individuals from accessing their own property. That is essentially a taking without compensation,” Hoeven said. “Moreover, these rules ignore the multiple use requirements established by Congress. So, the BLM is not only harming private property rights, but they are violating the law.”

Hoeven is sponsoring legislation to remove duplicative BLM permitting regulations, prevent unnecessary delays for cross-border energy projects such as pipelines and transmission lines and streamline and set deadlines for multi-agency national Environmental Policy Act reviews of natural gas pipelines and liquid natural gas projects.

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