Threats to the United Statesby Representative Kevin Cramer
Posted on 2013-02-15
CRAMER. Thank you to my colleague from Texas.
Mr. Speaker, today, I dropped in the hopper my first bill as a Member of the United States House of Representatives. And while it's a simple bill, it's a big day for me. It's a bill that simply corrects an oversight in previous legislation.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established a Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project to improve the processing of oil and gas permitting for onshore Federal lands. The Miles City, Montana, BLM field office was included in this pilot project. But unknown to the drafters of the legislation, the Miles City office also serves North and South Dakota. Without the Dakotas included in the language of the law, North and South Dakota permits are excluded from this program.
Permitting to drill on Federal lands has exceeded 225 days for the past 4 years when State permits on non-Federal lands in North Dakota take only 10 days to process. With the passage of this bill, more land will be opened to a program that seeks to reduce this sluggish pace, and oil and natural gas explorers and their many supporting businesses will have more work to do sooner.
Beyond the immediate benefits of this bill, Mr. Speaker, I hope it begins [[Page H573]] a conversation on more extensive reform of the permitting process for Federal land. The new oil and gas revolution in the United States has the potential to lead us out of this economic slump. I believe America's national security and America's economic security are tied directly to America's energy security, and I urge my colleagues to pass this bill as my friends work to pass the same legislation in the Senate.