Biden Administration Works To Curtail American Energy Production At Every Turn

As American Families Are Being Hit With Soaring Energy Costs On Everything From Gas To Electricity, The Biden Administration Keeps Trying To Strangle American Energy Production By Limiting Land For Development, Raising Costs, And Piling On Regulations And Lawsuits, Because ‘President Biden Remains Absolutely Committed To Not Moving Forward With Additional Drilling On Public Lands’

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The administration wants everybody else to produce more except us. They want us to be green, and so they are going after our allies in the Middle East, asking them to up production. We were energy independent as late as 2019, and we can be energy independent again. The administration needs to take the shackles off of domestic production. We can meet our own needs, and we can export and help the Europeans as they wean themselves away from Russian oil and gas, which I think clearly now they realize is the best and safest path forward.” (“Fox News Sunday,” 4/10/2022)


Energy Prices Surged For Americans Over The Last Year

In March, prices for gasoline increased 48%, year-on-year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 4/25/2022)

Electricity prices increased 11.1%, year-on-year, the largest increase in over 15 years. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 4/25/2022)

Gas utility service prices increased 21.6%, year-on-year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 4/25/2022)

Fuel oil prices increased a whopping 70%, year-on-year, the largest increase in more than a decade. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 4/25/2022)


Gas Prices Have Risen Steadily Since The First Days Of 2021


(“Pump Prices Edge Higher on Oil Market Volatility,” AAA Gas Prices, 4/25/2022)


Yet The Biden Administration Continues To Stymie American Energy Production, Consistently Implementing Policies That Will Make Energy More Expensive

Recently The Administration Grudgingly Announced New Federal Oil And Gas Leasing Following A Court Order, But Reduced The Amount Of Land Available And Raised Fees For Doing So, All While Explaining, ‘President Biden Remains Absolutely Committed To Not Moving Forward With Additional Drilling On Public Lands’

“The Biden administration announced lease sales for oil and gas drilling on federal land Friday, but said it would sharply reduce the acreage available for leases and charge higher royalties on the oil and gas produced. The Interior Department said it would make roughly 144,000 acres available for oil and gas drilling through a series of lease sales, an 80% reduction from the footprint of land that had been under evaluation for leasing. Companies will also be required to pay royalties of 18.75% of the value of what they extract, up from 12.5%.” (“Biden Administration Resumes Oil Leases on Federal Land,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/15/2022)

“The Biden administration is shrinking the amount of land eligible for drilling at an oil reserve in the Arctic. The administration announced on Monday that it would return to an Obama administration plan that would enable the government to lease up to 52 percent of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska  for oil and gas exploration. It reverses a Trump-era plan that would have opened up 82 percent of the reserve. While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had previously indicated that it had selected the Obama administration’s plan as its ‘preferred alternative’ for further consideration, on Monday it issued a Record of Decision formally affirming that it would return to the Obama-era plan. The National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska is an approximately 23 million-acre area in Alaska’s north slope.” (“Biden Administration Shrinks Area Eligible For Drilling At Arctic Reserve,” The Hill, 4/25/2022)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “In case you missed the Good Friday news dump, the Biden Administration plans to restart oil and gas leasing on federal lands this week. Or so its press release claims. The Administration as usual is restricting oil and gas development while pretending that’s not what it’s doing. During his first week in office, President Biden ordered the Interior Department to halt oil and gas lease sales on federal lands. Federal judge Terry Doughty last June ruled the ban violated the Mineral Leasing Act, which requires the government to hold quarterly lease sales “for each State where eligible lands are available.” The judge ordered Interior to resume leasing. Interior appealed while dragging its feet. Finally in November it held an offshore sale in the Gulf of Mexico. But months later another judge vacated the leases, quibbling that Interior didn’t calculate the potential greenhouse-gas emissions from oil produced from the leases that is consumed abroad. Interior didn’t appeal that ruling. Energy companies threatened to seek another judicial order to compel Interior to hold an onshore lease sale this spring. Interior’s Friday announcement is an attempt to head off that effort. It says it will hold a sale for 173 parcels on roughly 144,000 acres of land. This is doing the least possible to comply with Judge Doughty’s ruling last summer. This is two-thirds less land than the average during the Trump Presidency…. The Administration took 182 days to issue a drilling permit last year compared with a few days for the state of Texas. Time carries a monetary value, and the leasing suspension has increased the cost of new investment. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Mr. Biden doesn’t want to increase U.S. oil and gas production. He wants to duck political responsibility for high energy prices.” (Editorial, “An Oil Leasing Fig Leaf,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/17/2022)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY), Senate Energy And Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member: “After begging American oil and natural gas companies for months to produce more, the Biden administration is still doing all it can to restrict leasing on federal lands. First it was an illegal moratorium imposed at the start of his presidency. Now it’s this proposal to dramatically increase the cost of onshore leases while cutting the acres offered for lease by 80 percent. The president claims he’s doing nothing to limit domestic production, but once again his administration is making American energy more expensive and harder to produce.” (U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources Ranking Member, Press Release, 4/15/2022)

Biden Administration Officials: ‘President Biden Remains Absolutely Committed To Not Moving Forward With Additional Drilling On Public Lands,’ ‘It’s Not In Line With The President’s Policy, Which Was To Ban Additional Leasing’

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI: “Well, let me first say that today’s action … was the result of a court injunction that we continue to appeal.  And it’s not in line with the President’s policy, which was to ban additional leasing … I would just note that we are going to continue to fight this court injunction that is forcing our hand in allowing this to proceed, even as we have taken actions to reduce by 80 percent the areas to lease and impose stringent environmental standards…. [A]gain, these leases are not in line with our policy or the President’s view.” (White House Press Briefing, 4/18/2022)

WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL CLIMATE ADVISOR GINA McCARTHY: President Biden remains absolutely committed to not moving forward with additional drilling on public lands. The challenge that we faced was that we had a court that ordered a new lease to be done. The Department of Energy had no choice but to put it out. But they also found ways to reduce the size of that and its impact. And we'll keep doing what we need to do to appeal those decisions and to make our case in a court.” (MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson Reports , 4/20/2022)

American Energy Producers: ‘The Extreme Reduction Of Acreage By 80%, After A Year And A Quarter Without A Single Sale, Is Unwarranted And Does Nothing To Show That The Administration Takes High Gasoline Prices Seriously’

INDEPENDENT PETROLEUM ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA COO C. Jeffrey Eshelman: “This administration has begged for more oil from foreign nations, blames American energy producers for price gouging and sitting on leases…. Now, on a late holiday announcement, under pressure, it announces a lease sale with major royalty increases that will add uncertainty to drilling plans for years.” (“Biden Administration Resumes Oil Leases on Federal Land,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/15/2022)

WESTERN ENERGY ALLIANCE President Kathleen Sgamma: “While we’re glad to see [the Bureau of Land Management] is finally going to announce sales the extreme reduction of acreage by 80%, after a year and a quarter without a single sale, is unwarranted and does nothing to show that the administration takes high gasoline prices seriously.” (“Interior Department To Resume Oil And Gas Leasing, Charge Higher Fees,” The Washington Post, 4/15/2022)


Last Week, The Biden Administration Revised Infrastructure Permitting Rules, Adding More Red Tape And More Potential For Lengthy And Costly Litigation, Especially On Energy Projects

“The Biden administration is restoring federal regulations that require rigorous environmental review of major infrastructure projects such as highways, pipelines and oil wells — including likely impacts on climate change and nearby communities. The longstanding reviews were scaled back by the Trump administration in a bid to fast-track projects and create jobs. A rule finalized Tuesday will restore key provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act … during reviews for a wide range of federal proposals, including roads, bridges and energy projects authorized in the $1 trillion infrastructure law Biden signed last fall, the White House said.” (“Biden Administration Restores Environmental Reviews For Major Infrastructure Projects,” The Associated Press, 4/19/2022)

‘The Rule’s Obvious Intent Is To Make It Harder To Build Pipelines, Roads And Other Infrastructure That Would Enable More U.S. Oil And Gas Production, Even As The Administration Makes Phony Gestures To Reduce Energy Prices’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “The White House Council on Environmental Quality is revising rules under the National Environmental Policy Act for permitting major construction projects. CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory says the changes will ‘provide regulatory certainty’ and ‘reduce conflict.’ Instead, they will cause more litigation and delays that raise construction costs, if they don’t kill projects outright. NEPA requires federal agencies to review the environmental impact of major projects that are funded by the feds or require a federal permit. Reviews can take years and run thousands of pages, covering the smallest potential impact on species, air or water quality…. While the 1970 law was intended to prevent environmental disasters, it has become a weapon to block development. The Trump Administration sought to fast-track projects by limiting NEPA reviews to environmental effects that are directly foreseeable—e.g., how a pipeline’s construction would affect a stream it crosses. Some liberal judges, however, have interpreted NEPA broadly to require the study of effects that indirectly result from a project such as CO2 emissions. Now the Biden Administration is mandating this. CEQ’s new rule will require agencies to calculate the ‘indirect’ and ‘cumulative impacts’ that ‘can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time.’ This means death by a thousand regulatory cuts for many projects.” (Editorial, “How to Kill American Infrastructure on the Sly,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/20/2022)

SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE REPUBLICANS: “The rule reverses several common-sense changes that modernized the NEPA process. After passing a major bipartisan infrastructure law, now Biden’s CEQ wants to make it more difficult to build? More red tape won’t help projects get completed faster.” (EPW Republicans, @EPWGOP, Twitter, 4/19/2022)

WQT CORP. CEO Toby Rice: “The 4,000 pages of permits that we have to submit have created 4,000 opportunities for environmental groups to attack.” (Allysia Finley, “Fossil Fuels’ Forthright Defender,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/2022)


Meanwhile Biden’s Climate Czar Is Saying The Natural Gas Industry Needs To Be Curtailed, And ‘[N]o One Should Make It Easy For The Gas Interests To Be Building Out 30- Or 40-Year Infrastructure’

“U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday put natural gas on notice, saying the world’s reliance on the fossil fuel should be limited to potentially a decade, unless its greenhouse gas emissions are fully captured. Though natural gas burns cleaner than coal when used to generate electricity, it should not be part of a long-term climate strategy without emission-control technology, Kerry said in an interview Thursday with Bloomberg Television.” (“U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry Puts Natural Gas on Notice,” Bloomberg News, 4/21/2022)

  • JOHN KERRY: “We have to put the [natural gas] industry on notice: You’ve got six years, eight years, no more than 10 years or so, within which you’ve got to come up with a means by which you’re going to capture [emissions], and if you’re not capturing, then we have to deploy alternative sources of energy…. [N]o one should make it easy for the gas interests to be building out 30- or 40-year infrastructure, which we’re then stuck with and you know the fight will be ‘well we can’t close these because of the employment, because of the investors, et cetera.’” (“U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry Puts Natural Gas on Notice,” Bloomberg News, 4/21/2022)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Credit Mr. Kerry for candor. President Biden pretends to support U.S. gas production to free Europe from its dependence on Russia while his Administration works at cross purposes. Mr. Kerry knows that technologies that capture CO2 emissions are a long way from being scalable. He also knows that no one will invest in building new pipelines if gas is time-limited to less than a decade. And he should also know that fossil fuels can’t be replaced in the next decade since the batteries and ‘clean hydrogen’ that would be needed to do so will require technological breakthroughs. Natural-gas prices have shot up in recent months because production isn’t keeping pace with demand as the economy continues to recover and coal plants shut down. Political opposition to new pipelines is constraining U.S. production. Without more pipelines, U.S. energy prices will increase. As Mr. Kerry explains, because new pipelines would increase U.S. jobs and investment, they would engender more political opposition to the left’s climate agenda that would destroy both. He’d rather keep U.S. investment and jobs in the ground.” (Editorial, “John Kerry Says the Darndest Things,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/2022)



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