The first bill introduced into the U.S. House by Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Cramer’s Bureau of Land Management Streamlining Act was passed by the House in May and later by the Senate on Dec. 20 and will improve the efficiency of federal oil and natural gas permits in nOrth Dakota.
“North Dakota will join other states in a streamlining pilot project to alleviate the increased workload of federal permit review,” Cramer said. “I am pleased the president accepted these modest improvements and am hopeful we can build on this achievement to find more common ground in the future.”
All existing standards for approval are retained in the bill but hopes are the 200-day process for federal land drilling permits will be significantly shortened.
The bill allows BLM offices in Montana and other less stressed states to review and approve permits. Currently, as of the December report by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, there are no drilling rigs in North Dakota on federal land in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands.
Legislation similar to the streamlining act was first passed in the Senate in the 112th Congress last year after being introduced by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.). It reappeared in the Senate through Hoeven and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) this year but was never considered in the House until Cramer’s bill was drafted.