Rep. Ted Budd Proposes Amendment to Unleash American Drilling
Washington, June 14, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) submitted an amendment to H.R. 7606, the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act, to require the Biden administration to issue decisions on drilling permit applications currently frozen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
If adopted, the amendment requires BLM to issue a decision on a permit within 90 days of submission.
Rep. Budd said in a statement:
“As millions of North Carolinians struggle with $5 per gallon gas prices, the Biden administration is slow-walking the approval of new drilling permits. This bureaucratic freeze must end now. That’s why my amendment is so critical. It ensures that the Biden administration abandons its radical environmentalist agenda and focuses on a pro-American energy policy that makes life easier for everyday North Carolinians.”
In a March 31, 2022 fact sheet, the White House points out that “right now, the oil and gas industry is sitting on… 9,000 unused but already-approved permits for production.”
Under the Mineral Leasing Act, holders of permits to drill on federal land need to acquire further permission to drill on specific sites, and these permits are subject to Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
There are currently close to 5,000 pending permits to drill awaiting BLM approval.
The number of permits approved by BLM for energy procurement in January 2022 was 85% lower than the volume approvals in April 2020.
The Unleash American Drilling Act addresses the current backlog and prevents future buildups by including hard deadlines in the Mineral Leasing Act for BLM certification.
Under the bill, BLM must issue a decision on a permit within 90 days of submission so long as BLM has either:
(1) not yet formally deferred the application pursuant to section 17(p) of the Mineral Leasing Act; or (2) has deferred the application and there are no steps the application is required to take for the permit to be issued.