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Energy Security

U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) held a press conference at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) on July 27 to announce the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act of 2012 (DEJA), a wide-ranging package of 13 diverse energy bills that addresses both traditional and renewable development, including approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, providing access to the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, offering lease sales off the Virginia coast, and limiting new regulations on surface mining.

A similar measure was introduced by Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in June. Hoeven introduced the legislation with additional features in the Senate. The legislation was referred to a Senate committee, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which will consider it and, if recommended, eventually put it to a full Senate vote.

“DEJA is the foundation to develop a comprehensive energy policy to help our country,” said Hoeven. “The act streamlines the permitting process, both onshore and offshore, and reduces regulatory burden.”

DEJA is also designed to boost domestic energy supplies, build American energy infrastructure, and safeguard America’s supply of critical minerals used in modern high-tech manufactured products such as cell phones and computers.

“The EERC is actually taking the kind of integrated approach to energy development that the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act is designed to foster,” Hoeven said. “The nation, like North Dakota, is blessed with an abundance of energy resources and the entrepreneurial talent to develop them for the benefit of our entire country. We need to take the same kind of comprehensive, step-by-step approach that we’ve used in North Dakota to the national level.”

“This legislation falls in line with the EERC’s goal of facilitating the use of North Dakota’s technology, talent, and resources, which will become major components of achieving energy security in the United States,” said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. “Senator Hoeven continues to provide wise and effective leadership focused on enhancing the use of our nation’s bountiful and diverse energy resources. This legislation is very supportive of and complementary to the EERC’s diverse technical portfolio.”

Hoeven stated that DEJA is similar to North Dakota’s comprehensive state energy policy, EmPower ND, which was developed in 2007 when Hoeven was Governor of North Dakota. EmPower ND’s Web site states that between 2007 and 2010, North Dakota increased its energy production by 65%. While there were improvements in all of the energy sectors during that time frame and through July 2012, none were more significant than in the oil and gas industry, where North Dakota went from being the eighth largest oil-producing state in the nation in 2007 to the second largest in 2012.

“DEJA is about jobs, economic activity, growing the economy, and national security,” said Hoeven. “We need to produce more energy than we consume and, looking around this room, in an environmental stewardship way, which is what the EERC is doing.”