Rep. Ted Budd Leads Coalition to Propose the Unleash American Drilling Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) and seven House members introduced the Unleash American Drilling Act, which requires the Biden administration to issue decisions on drilling permit applications currently frozen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). If passed, the bill requires BLM to issue a decision on a permit within 90 days of submission.

The bill is co-sponsored by:

  • Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC)

  • Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL)

  • Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL)

  • Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)

  • Rep. John Rose (R-TN)

  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ)

  • Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN)

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. My bill would end this bureaucratic freeze now. The Biden administration’s radical environmentalist agenda does not make life better for North Carolinians. A pro-America energy policy will lower gas prices, make life better for folks, and make our country energy dominant again.”

Read the full text of the bill HERE


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.

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