Interview: Senator Hoeven Talks About The Empower States Act


North Dakota Senator John Hoeven has re-introduced the Empower States Act in this Congress, which would give states more control over regulating the energy industry. Senator Hoeven was kind enough to let me ask him a few questions about the ESA and what it could mean for North Dakota.

I asked the Senator if the ESA was intended to protect North Dakota from situations like the regional haze standoff with the EPA the state went through recently. The Clean Air Act allows states to regulate air quality under federal guidelines. Recently the EPA attempted to take that authority from North Dakota, despite the state meeting every single federal air quality standard.

Senator Hoeven said that was an “excellent” comparison, and noted that the goal of the ESA is to protect states from one-size-fits-all federal regulations.

He noted, specifically, that oil and gas development can vary greatly from state to state because of factors like geology. The Marcellus natural gas fields in Pennsylvania are very different than the Bakken oil shale formation here in North Dakota. Hoeven believes it is better for the states to take the lead on those issues than the federal government.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • whowon

    Education AND Energy.

  • ACF1

    One size fits none

  • Stuart

    Just so you all are aware of this proposal…will it reach pass the Waste Paper basket of Senator “Dingy”Harry Reid? And how many sponsors in the Senate does Hoeven have on this proposal? Smoking Mirrors and very little substance when it comes to being passed. I like Hoeven but how many Bills did Conrad,Pomeroy, and Dorgan get passed that they proposed and offered up? None? A lot? A few?
    Lets come back to reality a bit on this one!

  • ObservingTheProcess

    This will be test for Heidi ahd her mouthpiece Joel. Will she stand up to WDC: ie. Dingy Harry and Obama or will she just be their mouth piece. My bet is if there is clearly not enough votes in the SEnate to pass it, Harry will giver her the green light to vote for it.

  • Mike Peterson

    This is great he’s pushing for state rights on energy matters… It’s a start… but we really need to stretch the 10th Amendment as far as it can possibly go in all other matters as well. Otherwise, we will pay in full for the incompetence of our
    federal government in too many ways to count.