Daines Leads Effort to Overturn Biden Rule Shutting Down Small Oil & Gas Producers

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) led a group of his Republican colleagues in introducing a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recent Fluid Mineral Leases and Leasing Process. This new rule would significantly raise royalties, rates, minimum bids, costs and bonding requirements for oil and gas producers on federal lands making it virtually impossible for small energy producers to continue to operate.

“Joe Biden set out on an anti-American energy war path on Day One, and ever since Montana’s small oil and gas producers have been a target. This new BLM rule will drive producers out of business, raise costs for Montana families and force the U.S. to run to our adversaries to meet our energy needs. It must be reversed,” said Daines.

Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Pete Ricketts (Neb.), Mike Lee (Utah), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ala.), and Ted Cruz (Texas) joined Daines in introducing this resolution.  

Quotes of Support:

“This is yet another very clear example of the administration using a ‘whole of government approach’ to weaponize the regulatory process in its continued effort to wipe out small oil and gas operators. This latest regulatory assault will inevitably lead to higher energy prices at a time when Americans are continuing to feel the pain of inflation, potential energy supply shortages, an increase in dirty foreign energy, and a loss of US jobs – especially in small and rural towns – without a clear demonstration of how these actions benefit the environment or support the US domestic energy supply.” Patrick Montalban – Chairman, National Stripper Well Association

“There are just 37 orphan wells out of more than 90,000 wells on federal lands, which renders BLM’s 20-fold increase in bonding amounts way out of proportion to the .04% size of the problem. Small companies do not have access to bonds at the reasonable rates that large companies do, meaning they will be priced out of the market and driven off public lands. This is another rule by the Biden Administration meant to deliver on the president’s promise of no federal oil and natural gas. Western Energy Alliance appreciates that Senator Daines is introducing a CRA resolution to overturn a rule that seeks to perpetuate energy price inflation well into the future.” Kathleen Sgamma – President, Western Energy Alliance

“IPAA applauds Senator Daines for leading the charge to repeal this hastily-written BLM Rule that would have severely curtail multiple use of federal lands.  With its excessive use of the federal regulatory process, the Biden Administration once again is taking actions that will threaten jobs and economic development in communities throughout the Intermountain West.  This misguided policy is another example of the Biden Administration casting a blind eye to the people throughout the West that rely on a balanced approach to federal land management.” Mallori Miller – Vice President of Government Relations, Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)

“Energy development on federal lands is critical to strengthening America’s energy security, powering our economy, and supporting state and local conservation efforts. We welcome Sen. Daines’ efforts to overturn this overly burdensome land management regulation and ensure the Biden administration is promoting fair and consistent access to federal resources.” – Holly Hopkins – VP of Upstream Policy, American Petroleum Institute (API)

“We appreciate Senator Daines efforts to overturn these devastating rules promulgated by the Biden administration. The rules as adopted will put many small Montana oil and gas producers in serious financial jeopardy leading to a loss of many jobs in Montana and affecting rural local governments and schools who continue to be hard pressed to fund budgets for critical services.” Alan Olson – Executive Director, Montana Petroleum Association

“We find it concerning that the BLM has continued to push forward the increase in bond amounts despite recent rejections by Congress. The continued development of our oil and gas resources is critical to maintaining our energy security and it plays a key role in funding essential local government services—which is why we appreciate the efforts of Senator Daines to roll back the minimum lease bond increases for oil and gas producers on federal lands.” Gordon Oelkers, Vice President of the Montana Association of Oil, Gas, and Coal Counties