Hoeven’s bill good for ND, promotes energy independence from Russia

Oil production in this country, including in North Dakota, a state producing more than 1.13 million barrels of oil a day and 2,990,340 MCF (thousand cubic feet) of natural gas a day according to the latest figures, is getting a lot of attention now with the invasion of Russia in the Ukraine.

Efforts are being made to allow stepping up production in North Dakota and other oil-producing states. Many North Dakotans and others across the country have become aware that the U.S. is shipping in millions of barrels of oil from Russia.

According to the American Fuel & Petrochemical Association, in 2021, the U.S. imported an average of 209,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and 500,000 bpd of other petroleum products from Russia. Russian crude accounts for only three percent of U.S. crude oil imports and about one percent of total crude oil processed by U.S. refineries, but Russian crude oil imports are important to refineries on the West Coast and Gulf Coast.

To promote American energy dominance to offset the Russian imports, on Thursday, Republican Sen. John Hoeven, in a bicameral effort, introduced the American Energy Independence from Russia Act in the U.S. Senate.

At the same time, it would require the Biden administration to submit a plan to Congress within 30 days that provides an energy security evaluation and risk assessment, along with a plan to leverage America’s oil and gas resources to offset imports from Russia.

Hoeven’s legislation would take immediate action to encourage increased U.S. production including authorizing the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline that Biden shut down when he entered office, causing thousands of workers to lose their jobs.

The legislation includes removing regulatory hurdles to increase liquefied natural gas exports, prohibits any presidential moratoria on new energy leases, requires the U.S. Department of Interior to hold a minimum of four oil and natural gas lease sales in each state with land available for leasing in fiscal year 2022, and prohibits the secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from drawdowns of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until the secretary of the Interior issues a plan to increase oil and gas production on federal lands and waters.

Hoeven is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and seven other senators are cosponsors of the bill. It has also been introduced in the House of Representatives.

Hoeven’s bill would benefit not only North Dakota but all of this country to start getting us back to energy independence.


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