North Dakota Senator: States Should Lead on Energy Regulation

Jan 24, 2013

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) speaking at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in 2012. Photographer: Ian Wagreich/© U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

It’s been a busy week for Senator John Hoeven (R-ND). Yesterday, the first-termer gathered a bipartisan list of 53 Senators to sign a letter urging President Obama to quickly approve the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Today, at a National Journal event on “The New Economics of Energy,” Hoeven continued talking about energy by laying out a vision of an American energy future driven by innovation and private sector investment if the right policies are in place.

One policy change is regulatory reform. “We’re doing too much regulation,” Hoeven told the audience. The former governor of a state that produces oil, coal, natural gas, and wind power, made the case that individual states should take the lead on regulating energy production.  Because every state is unique, they should be the primary regulator with federal regulators being a backstop, Hoeven said.

Along with a friendly legal and regulatory environment, the Senator argued for infrastructure improvements. “We're moving more oil out of North Dakota by rail car than by pipeline” which costs more, he said.  More pipelines like Keystone XL are needed to move oil and gas to market along with roads improvements to access oil and gas sites.

Hoeven said that if embraced, these policies would “empower private investment” to drive innovation while also protecting the environment. In addition our fiscal problems would improve. “The real key to getting out of our debt problem is economic growth and energy is a big opportunity to drive that,” the Senator said.

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