Democrats’ Gas Tax Gimmick Can’t Hide Their Policies That Are Designed To Raise Energy Prices

Democrats Facing Frustrated Voters In November Are Proposing To Suspend The Gas Tax In An Obvious Election Year Gimmick, But Have Spent A Year Voting For And Supporting Green New Deal Policies To Strangle Domestic Energy Production That Have Sent Prices Soaring

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): ““Washington Democrats’ inflation is slamming consumers with the highest prices in 40 years. One of the toughest blows has been the soaring cost of a trip to the gas station. A gallon of regular costs a full dollar more today than it did a year ago. So, after triggering an historic run of inflation and hammering American producers with anti-energy policies designed to restrict supply, our Democratic colleagues are suddenly talking about gas prices. And here’s their bold, creative plan: Temporarily suspending the gas tax. To the tune of 18 cents. Oh, and excluding diesel. A slap in the face to truckers and a further burden on the supply chain. Oh, and just to make the political games transparent, they want this to expire right after the midterms, as soon as the next Congress is sworn in. Democrats want to blow a $20 billion hole in highway funding so they can try to mask the effects of their own liberal policies on working Americans. They’ve spent an entire year waging a holy war on affordable American energy, and now they want to use a pile of taxpayers’ money to hide the consequences.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 2/17/2022)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Look. If Democrats actually wanted to help the American people fill their tanks, they wouldn’t have been attacking American energy every way possible for an entire year. President Biden made killing Keystone XL his day one priority. Democrats voted in lockstep to endorse President Biden’s ban on new energy exploration on federal lands. At every turn, in every way, Democrats have made it harder to produce affordable and reliable American energy. Take any form of energy, and if people in San Francisco don’t find it fashionable, the Biden Administration has gone after it. Three years ago, under Republican policies, the United States became a net exporter of oil for the first time in more than 70 years. From a sheer mathematical perspective, for the first time since World War II, we were producing all that we needed and then some. Alas, a very different philosophy now controls Washington. In President Biden’s first year, our own oil imports from Russia hit a new all-time high.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 2/17/2022)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY), Senate Energy Committee Ranking Member: “And now we hear another gimmick coming from the Democrats. This time it’s a temporary pause in the gasoline tax until after Election Day. So The New York Times had a story about it today” ‘Democrats, With Eye on Midterms, Search for Ways to Bring Down Rising Prices.’ It is not because Americans are suffering, not because people at home, if the Democrats ever go home, are telling them how hard it is, not because they have an understanding of the needs of the American people. Nope, none of those reasons. ‘The Democrats, with an eye on the midterms,’ have introduced this legislation. When you look at the cosponsors, it is interesting that so many of them are people who are listed as ‘vulnerable’ come the elections in November. This might be the gimmick to end all gimmicks. Suspending the gas tax -- oh, and by the way, bringing it back right after the election. It’s all election driven. Are we going to need less energy after election day? Is there going to be more expensive energy after election day? That is what we get.” (Sen. Barrasso, Congressional Record, S.738, 2/16/2022)

  • SEN. BARRASSO: “This newest proposal by the Democrats is not about affordable energy; it is a cheap political trick. It might sound good in a press release. The kids in Greybull, WY, know it is not going to help them. Democrats desperately want to look like they are trying to do something after ignoring inflation, denying it was even there in the first place. Yet, after months and months and months of the American people suffering, the American people know a gimmick when they see it.” (Sen. Barrasso, Congressional Record, S.738, 2/16/2022)


‘The Senate’s Most Vulnerable Democrats’ Are Calling For A Suspension Of The Gas Tax Now That ‘Rising Gasoline Prices [Have Begun] To Have Political Consequences’

“American consumers are feeling the squeeze from inflation -- as are Senate Democrats facing voters in nine months. The Senate’s most vulnerable Democrats are all calling on the Biden administration to do more to address the pain consumers are feeling from the cost of rising goods … Democrats introduced a bill that would temporarily suspend the 18 cents per gallon federal gas tax -- in a move they say would help with soaring costs at the pump. Among the sponsors of the bill: [Sen. Mark] Kelly and [Sen. Maggie] Hassan along with Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who are also facing voters in November.” (“Vulnerable Democrats Feel Inflation Squeeze And Call For More White House Action,” CNN, 2/10/2022)

  • “The early deliberations come days after a group of vulnerable Senate Democrats introduced a bill that would suspend the gas tax of roughly 18 cents per gallon for the rest of the year, a measure party lawmakers discussed at a lunch Tuesday…. The looming risks prompted Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), two lawmakers facing tough reelection fights, to unveil a bill last week that would suspend the tax until January. Their backers include Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), some of whom face tough midterm contests entering November, when Democrats’ majorities in the House and Senate are at risk.” (“White House, Congressional Democrats Eye Pause Of Federal Gas Tax As Prices Remain High, Election Looms,” The Washington Post, 2/15/2022)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “The contradictions of climate politics keep piling up, and the latest is a call from Democratic Senators running for re-election this year to suspend the federal gas tax. Hello? Isn’t the point of Democratic climate plans to raise the price of fossil fuels so we use less? Or at least it is until rising gasoline prices begin to have political consequences. Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly and New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan on Wednesday introduced legislation to waive the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gas tax through 2022—long enough to get them past tough re-elections in November. Co-sponsors include Georgia’s Raphael Warnock and Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto —also up in November—as well as Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow and Nevada’s Jacky Rosen.” (Editorial, “Suspend the Gas Tax, They Cried,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/11/2022)


Yet 6 Months Ago, All 50 Senate Democrats Voted To Support President Biden’s Moratorium On New Oil And Gas Exploration On Federal Lands

All 50 Senate Democrats voted against Sen. Cynthia Lummis’ (R-WY) amendment, which would have reversed the Biden administration’s moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on public lands. (S.Amdt.3104, S.Con.Res.14, Roll Call Vote #320: Rejected 49-50: D 0-48; R 49-0; I 0-2; 8/10/2021)


And These Same Democrats Supported The Reckless Tax And Spending Spree Legislation That Featured Multiple Provisions That Would Strangle Domestic Energy Production And Result In Even Higher Prices

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Progressives in Congress, meantime, want to use the Democratic reconciliation bill to punish the industry by doing away with expensing for intangible drilling costs, the oil depletion allowance and more. The bill’s Clean Electricity Performance Program is expressly designed to punish fossil fuels, including natural gas. Mr. Biden and his party have sent signals that are loud and clear, in accord with the larger cultural message that fossil fuels are the new tobacco and the world doesn’t need them. That isn’t true, as Mr. Biden is finding out the hard way. Despite all the subsidies for renewables, fossil fuels provide about 80% of America’s energy, and high prices weigh on consumers and the economy.” (Editorial, “Biden Suddenly Loves Frackers,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/15/2021)

Democrats Proposed A New Methane Tax On Oil And Gas Production, Which The American Gas Association Estimates Could Increase Consumer Natural Gas Bills From 12% To 34%

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & COMMERCE: “The Build Back Better Act establishes a methane fee on pollution from the oil and gas industry above specific intensity thresholds.” (House Committee on Energy & Commerce, 9/13/2021)

19 STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL: “[W]e would expect Congress to be focused on affordable energy solutions. Yet Congress is instead considering imposing additional fees on the oil and gas industry. In the Senate, the Methane Emissions Reduction Act proposes to charge oil and gas producers $1,800 per ton of methane emissions beginning in 2023. A similar provision in the House’s version of the Build Back Better Act proposes a $1,500 ‘fee’—really, a tax—for each ton of methane emissions. This new tax will damage our economy. Industry experts estimate that the Senate version would impose a $14.4 billion cost and affect as many as 155,000 jobs. Retail gas prices would go up; the American Gas Association estimates that increases to consumer natural gas bills could range from 12% to 34%. And because natural gas and oil play such a central role in the U.S. economy, these price increases could feed inflation in other sectors. The inflation rate is already running at a 30-year high. … We support reasonable and lawful measures to reduce methane emissions. But a de facto tax administered through an onerous administrative regime is not that. We urge you to reject any methane tax and save American energy consumers from ever more painful price increases.” (19 Attorneys General, Letter to Sens. Carper, Manchin, Capito, and Barrasso, 10/14/2021)

Democrats’ Bill Also Proposed Permanently Banning New Offshore Oil Drilling In ‘The Atlantic, The Pacific And The Eastern Gulf Of Mexico’ While Rescinding Onshore Drilling In Parts Of Alaska

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA) and REPS. JARED HUFFMAN (D-CA), ALAN LOWENTHAL (D-CA), and MIKE LEVIN (D-CA): “The first and most obvious step toward avoiding the next drilling disaster and protecting our coasts is to ban new offshore drilling…. With this in mind, we have worked to include a provision in the Build Back Better Act, the reconciliation bill currently being debated in Congress, that would end new federal oil and gas leasing off the California coast, and we urge our colleagues in Congress to retain that provision…. Congress has a crucial opportunity to end new offshore oil and gas leasing in the Build Back Better Act.” (Sen. Feinstein and Reps. Huffman, Lowenthal, and Levin, Op-Ed, “Ban On New Offshore Drilling Must Stay In The Build Back Better Act,” The Hill, 10/19/2021)

“Democrats, aides and environmentalists feel confident that the prevention of oil and gas drilling in most U.S. waters will survive scrutiny in the Senate … Under the version of the Build Back Better Act that passed the House [in November], new offshore drilling would be permanently prohibited in three major regions: the Atlantic, the Pacific and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.” (“The Climate 202: Democrats Want To Prevent New Oil And Gas Drilling In Most U.S. Waters. Their Plan Might Work.,” The Washington Post, 12/02/2021)

“The House version of the bill would also repeal a provision in Republicans’ 2017 tax law that opened up Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to onshore oil and gas drilling.” (“The Climate 202: Democrats Want To Prevent New Oil And Gas Drilling In Most U.S. Waters. Their Plan Might Work.,” The Washington Post, 12/02/2021)

Democrats Also Planned To Raise Royalty Fees And Rents On Oil And Gas Companies Drilling On Federal Land

“The bill would also increase the onshore royalty rate — the percentage of profits that fossil fuel developers must pay to the federal government in exchange for drilling on public lands — from 12.5 percent to 18.75 percent.” (“The Climate 202: Democrats Want To Prevent New Oil And Gas Drilling In Most U.S. Waters. Their Plan Might Work.,” The Washington Post, 12/02/2021)

  • “The sweeping $2.2 trillion social policy and climate bill that passed the House of Representatives [in November] includes provisions that would increase federal royalty rates for oil and gas companies…. As one way to raise revenue for the $2.2 trillion spending bill, Democrats included provisions in the legislation that would raise onshore oil and gas drilling royalty rates from 12.5 percent to 18.75 percent and set offshore rates at ‘not less than 14 percent.’ At auctions of federal oil and gas leases on public lands, it would increase the minimum bid from $2 an acre to $10 an acre. And it would increase the annual rents that companies must pay to the federal government to lease the land.” (“Interior Dept. Report On Drilling Is Mostly Silent On Climate Change,” The New York Times, 11/26/2021)

Democrats Proposed A ‘Clean Electricity Performance Program,’ Which Would Subsidize Unreliable Solar And Wind Energy, While Punishing Affordable Fossil Fuel Generation, And Utility Officials Warn, ‘All The Costs Incurred By Our Members Are Passed Along To Their Customers’

“House of Representatives Democrats unveiled details on Thursday of a proposed $150 billion payment program aimed at wringing greenhouse gas emissions out of the electricity sector, a cornerstone of the Biden administration’s plan to address climate change. The system would reward utilities that increase their production of power from low-emissions sources like solar, wind and hydro, and penalize those that do not, according to a document released by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce outlining key provisions to be included in a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. … Under the so-called Clean Electricity Performance Program, which would run from 2023 to 2030, utilities would receive payments from the Energy Department if they increase clean energy supplies by 4% annually, according to the document. … If a supplier fails to meet the 4% targeted increase, it will owe $40 per MWh for any shortfall.” (“U.S. Democrats Unveil Details Of $150 Bln Clean Electricity Plan In Budget Bill,” Reuters, 9/09/2021)

JOHN DITTO, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association: “As not-for-profit utilities, all the costs incurred by our members are passed along to their customers. Preliminary analyses conducted by our members of the CEPP show that compliance with the CEPP, whether through meeting the clean electricity percentage increase of four percent annually (assuming it could even be done) or payment for failing to do so would result in substantially increased costs for customers. And if they cannot meet the compliance obligation, they would have to pay a substantial penalty while not being eligible for the grant program to help them contain costs for their customers. … Public power utilities are committed to further reducing their emissions to address climate change. Unfortunately, we do not believe that the CEPP, as currently designed, provides sufficient time for public power utilities to transition to cleaner resources while keeping their rates affordable and ensuring reliability for their customers – two key tenets that must be protected as we reduce emissions – and is therefore unworkable as drafted.” (APPA’s John Ditto, Letter To Reps. Pallone, Tonko, and Rush, 9/13/2021)


From Its Very First Day In Office, The Biden Administration Has Worked To Shut Down American Oil And Natural Gas Production On Federal Lands And Make American Energy More Difficult To Extract And Transport

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Democrats are blaming everyone but President Biden…. The Biden Administration has slow-rolled oil and gas permits, halted lease sales on federal land, suspended leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and pushed financial regulation to deny capital to fossil fuels—all while activist progressive investors abet the industry’s strangulation.” (Editorial, “Suspend the Gas Tax, They Cried,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/11/2022)

On His First Day In Office, President Biden Cancelled The Keystone XL Pipeline, Making It More Difficult And More Expensive To Get Oil To Refineries And ‘Sending An Early Signal That The Climate Panic Will Trump Nearly Everything Else In His Administration’

“The Canadian pipeline company that had long sought to build the Keystone XL pipeline announced [in June] that it had terminated the embattled project, which would have carried petroleum from Canadian tar sands to Nebraska. The announcement was the death knell for a project that had been on life support since President Biden’s first day in office and had been stalled by legal battles for years before that, despite support from the Trump administration.” (“The Keystone XL Pipeline Project Has Been Terminated,” The New York Times, 6/09/2021)

“President Joe Biden formally announced on [January 20th] he was revoking a key permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the second time a Democratic administration has scuttled the $8 billion project in less than a decade. Biden’s action was part of a series of executive orders on his first day in office …” (“Biden Kills Keystone XL Permit, Again,” Politico, 1/20/2021)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “President Biden issued a blizzard of executive orders on his first day in office, including a diktat to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. This is a slap at Canada, and it sends a message to investors that playing by U.S. rules provides no immunity from arbitrary political whim. … Killing Keystone won’t keep fossil fuels in the ground. It will merely strand billions of dollars in Canadian investment and kill thousands of U.S. jobs while enriching adversaries and alienating an ally. … Mr. Biden is sending an early signal that the climate panic will trump nearly everything else in his Administration. The unstated but operative message from the Keystone kill is that he will use regulation and permitting to do the dirty work.” (Editorial, “Biden’s Keystone Pipeline Kill,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/20/2021)

During His First Week In Office, President Biden Issued A Moratorium On Oil And Natural Gas Exploration On Federal Lands

“The Biden administration announced [January 21st] a … suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters, as officials moved quickly to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment. The suspension, part of a broad review of programs at the Department of Interior, went into effect immediately under an order signed Wednesday by [the] Acting Interior Secretary … It follows Democratic President Joe Biden’s campaign pledge to halt new drilling on federal lands and end the leasing of publicly owned energy reserves as part of his plan to address climate change.” (“Biden Halts Oil And Gas Leases, Permits On US Land And Water,” The Associated Press, 1/21/2021)

‘Holding Back New Drilling Permits Would Gradually Reduce Production On Federal Land,’ Which Makes Up ‘About A Quarter Of Annual U.S. Production’

“[T]he federal government owns large swaths of land companies use for oil-and-gas drilling. Such a policy would heavily impact energy producing states such as New Mexico and Wyoming, which together have almost 53.8 million acres of federal land, according to the Congressional Research Service. U.S. oil production on federal lands grew to 954.3 million barrels in fiscal 2019, up 28% from fiscal 2016, Interior Department data showed. Drilling on federal land and water generated almost $6 billion in government revenue last year.” (“Biden’s Order to Freeze New Oil Drilling on Federal Land: What You Need to Know,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/27/2021)

And The Biden Administration Spent The Summer Working To Curtail Oil And Gas Production And Exploration In Alaska

“The Biden administration on [June 1st] suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, reversing a drilling program approved by the Trump administration and reviving a political fight over a remote region that is home to polar bears and other wildlife — and a rich reserve of oil. The order by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland follows a temporary moratorium on oil and gas lease activities imposed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office.” (“Biden Suspends Oil Leases In Alaska’s Arctic Refuge,” The Associated Press, 6/01/2021)

“The Interior Department will review and could replace the Trump-era management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska that put millions more acres on the table for possible oil and gas development, the agency announced Tuesday. An initial assessment of the management plan shows that it conflicts with President Joe Biden’s executive order in January to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a legal memorandum filed in a U.S. District Court case in Anchorage on Tuesday.” (“Biden Administration To Reconsider Trump-Era Plan That Expanded Drilling Opportunities In National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska,” Anchorage Daily News, 9/08/2021)

In November, The Biden Administration Announced A New 20 Year Ban On Oil And Gas Leasing In Part Of New Mexico

“President Biden will announce on Monday that his administration is moving to block new federal oil and gas leasing within a 10-mile radius around Chaco Canyon in New Mexico …” (The New York Times, 11/15/2021)

  • “In the coming weeks, administration officials said, the Bureau of Land Management, which is part of the Interior Department, will publish a notice in the Federal Register that will initiate the process of banning new oil and gas leases on federal land in the 10-mile radius around Chaco Culture National Historical Park for a period of 20 years.” (The New York Times, 11/15/2021)
  • “Enacting the new plan to protect the area around Chaco Canyon will be Interior Secretary Deb Haaland … a former environmental activist …” (The New York Times, 11/15/2021)

ROBERT McENTYRE, New Mexico Oil & Gas Association spokesman: “There doesn’t appear to be a scientific or environmental rationale for that 10-mile radius…. And given the role that oil and gas plays in the economy of that area, we shouldn’t have an arbitrary number that would limit economic opportunities, perhaps the only economic opportunities, in that part of the state…. No one is saying that we want to develop inside the park or that we need to be directly inside its boundaries…. But the 10-mile number appears to be arbitrary. Especially over such a long period that could have generational consequences.” (The New York Times, 11/15/2021)

‘The Oil Industry Is Emerging As A Primary Target Of President Biden’s Climate Policy’

“The oil industry is emerging as a primary target of President Biden’s climate policy, setting the stage for a confrontation that could shape the future of the energy sector. The president is [issued] an executive order Wednesday that would suspend new oil and gas leasing on federal land … in what is widely seen as a first step toward fulfilling Mr. Biden’s campaign pledge to stop drilling on federal lands and offshore. Drilling on federal lands accounts for roughly 9% of U.S. onshore production, but oil industry leaders see a curtailment on future development as a significant threat….” (“Biden’s Climate-Change Policy Targets Oil Industry,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/26/2021)

‘Any Doubt That The Biden Administration Plans To Slowly Regulate Fossil Fuels Out Of Existence Vanished’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Any doubt that the Biden Administration plans to slowly regulate fossil fuels out of existence vanished [in January]. First came the Keystone XL pipeline kill, but perhaps more significant is the 60-day freeze on new leases on federal lands and bureaucratic permitting. The pause could soon become a long-term ban. Federal lands account for about 22% of U.S. oil production, 12% of natural gas and 40% of coal. When the Obama Administration slowed oil and gas permitting on federal land, drilling and exploration shifted to private land. The Biden Administration may shut that down too.” (Editorial, “Biden’s Fossil-Fuel Freeze,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/22/2021)

  • “[S]hale fracking occurs in large part on federal land in western states, and it continually requires new leases and investment. Federal land accounts for 51.9% of New Mexico’s oil production and 66.8% of its natural gas, as well as a sizable share of gas extraction in Colorado (41.6%), Utah (63.2%) and Wyoming (92.1%). A federal leasing ban would cost some 18,000 jobs in Colorado, 33,000 in Wyoming and 62,000 in New Mexico by 2022, according to the American Petroleum Institute. States would also lose hundreds of millions of dollars of mineral royalties that are shared by the feds. Oil and gas revenue accounts for 20% of New Mexico’s budget. Downstream suppliers like fracking sand mines in Wisconsin and steel manufacturers in Pennsylvania would also be hit.” (Editorial, “Biden’s Fossil-Fuel Freeze,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/22/2021)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “[I]t’s worth going down the list of ways this Administration has tried to punish U.S. producers. At a presidential debate last year, Mr. Biden said he would ‘transition away from the oil industry.’ His first day in office, Mr. Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which was supposed to carry oil from Canada and the Bakken Shale to refineries on the Gulf Coast. A week later he issued an order placing a moratorium on new oil-and-gas leases on federal lands and waters. A court blocked that moratorium, but the Interior Department got the presidential message. It approved a mere 171 drilling permits on federal lands in August, down 75% from April. The Biden Administration also moved to suspend existing leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and it initiated a fresh review of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve that could put it off limits as well. Get it—a ‘petroleum reserve’ will be off limits for petroleum. Mr. Biden also signed a Congressional resolution that vitiated the Trump Administration’s regulation on methane leaks from fossil-fuel production. The White House probably will replace it with a stringent standard that will make fracking more expensive. The Administration is also unleashing financial regulators against the industry. The Federal Reserve and other bureaucracies are looking to impose new rules on ‘climate-related financial risk,’ as a May order from Mr. Biden put it. The purpose is to close off sources of funding and raise the cost of capital for the industry, and it’s succeeding. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees natural-gas pipelines, has signaled it probably will start requiring a climate study before approving even the smallest infrastructure upgrades. That will raise the bar for worthy projects, while creating costs for climate mitigation. As one sign of the regulatory gantlet, two different proposed pipelines in the past two years have won a case at the Supreme Court and then been canceled anyway.” (Editorial, “Biden Suddenly Loves Frackers,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/15/2021)

FLASHBACK: Joe Biden During The 2020 Presidential Campaign: ‘No More Drilling On Federal Lands, Period. Period, Period, Period.’

“As a candidate, Mr. Biden promised to stop issuing new leases for drilling on public lands. ‘And by the way, no more drilling on federal lands, period. Period, period, period,’ Mr. Biden told voters in New Hampshire in February 2020.” (“Interior Dept. Report On Drilling Is Mostly Silent On Climate Change,” The New York Times, 11/26/2021)

REMINDER: Secretary Of The Interior Deb Haaland Is A Green New Deal Champion Who Thinks, ‘It’d Be Great To Stop All Oil And Gas Leasing On Federal Lands’

THEN-REP. DEB HAALAND (D-NM): “Sure, if I had my way, it’d be great to stop all oil and gas leasing on federal lands, because those lands belong to all of us.” (“What Biden’s Interior Pick Means For Oil And Gas,” E&E News, 12/18/2020)

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) was an original cosponsor of the Green New Deal. (H.Res. 109, 116th Congress; “Green New Deal,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s Website, Accessed 1/28/2021)

“As part of her ‘bold agenda,’ she said she is taking a strong stance against the oil and gas industry by pushing for 100-percent renewable energy. She has signed on to the Sunrise Movement to champion the Green New Deal, a progressive movement that has protested Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, slated to resume her position as the next Speaker of the House.” (“Haaland Pushes For Green New Deal,” The Los Alamos Monitor, 12/24/2018)


As Energy Prices Have Steadily Increased, The Biden Administration Has Humiliatingly Gone Hat-In-Hand To Ask OPEC And Russia To Produce More Oil, While Doing Nothing To Encourage More Domestic Production

“The Biden administration surprised the oil market with an early morning statement from National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan calling on OPEC+, which includes the cartel as well as Russia, to raise output to take some of the heat off the market. That’s an unusual call, not only because those countries are competitors of the U.S. in the global crude trade, but, as both Republicans and environmentalists noted, Biden has cast himself as a climate warrior who wants to move the U.S. to clean energy.” (“Biden Asks OPEC What?,” Politico’s Morning Energy, 8/12/2021)

  • “Biden administration officials spoke with representatives from OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia this week, as well as with representatives from the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC+ members. The White House said the group’s July agreement to boost production by 400,000 barrels per day on a monthly basis beginning in August and stretching into 2022 is ‘simply not enough’ during a ‘critical moment in the global recovery.’” (“White House Calls On OPEC To Boost Oil Production As Gasoline Prices Rise,” CNBC, 8/11/2021)
  • JAKE SULLIVAN, BIDEN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: “Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery. The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic. While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough.” (White House Press Release, 8/11/2021)

American Oil Imports From Russia Hit An All-Time High In 2021

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, under the Biden Administration, U.S. imports of Russian oil and petroleum products reached an all-time high in 2021. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, Accessed 2/16/2022)

Incredibly, The Biden Administration Even Reached Out To The U.S. Oil Industry About Rising Prices, But Made No Effort To Change Its Legislative Or Regulatory Agenda Targeting Them

“The White House has been consulting with the oil industry to seek a remedy for rising gasoline prices as surging inflation threatens to tarnish the economic recovery, according to three people familiar with the discussions. The latest outreach to the oil industry is an awkward shift for the Biden administration, which has pledged to move the country away from fossil fuels and has drawn criticism from the industry and Republicans for pausing lease sales of federal land for oil and gas development. But President Joe Biden faces mounting political pressure to curb rising prices that have lifted the average per gallon price of gasoline to $3.28, more than $1 above the year-ago level, as crude oil prices hit 7-year highs this week above $80 a barrel. That pain at the pump comes as the U.S. consumer price index jumped 5.4 percent in September, matching a 13-year high …” (“Biden Team Asks Oil Industry For Help To Tame Gas Prices,” Politico, 10/13/2021)

API PRESIDENT MIKE SOMMERS: “You’d think the first place you would go would be American producers, rather than OPEC, which literally held this country hostage for decades because they were our top supplier…. The irony sure is thick. We’re talking about an administration that really for the first eight months in office did nothing but try to restrict American development of oil and gas.” (CNN Business, 8/13/2021)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “We thought we’d seen everything, but there it was Wednesday morning in black and white on the White House website: Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, imploring the cartel of oil exporting nations to pump more oil. Talk about a political climate change. This is the same Biden Administration that has spent … months doing everything it can to crush U.S. oil production…. In a single, brief statement, he managed to contradict President Biden’s entire energy message as a candidate and in office.” (Editorial, “Joe Biden Wants OPEC to Drill,” 8/11/2021)

  • “For nine months President Biden has been pursuing policies to squeeze oil-and-gas producers to limit production and eventually go out of business. Having begged OPEC in vain to boost oil production, Mr. Biden is now having to suffer the humiliation of beseeching an American industry he vilifies as destroying the planet to save the day…. Crude oil prices have doubled since the November election, and this week closed above $80 a barrel. This has flowed into gasoline prices paid by voters, with the national average for a gallon up more than $1. A federal agency is warning that Americans who use natural gas for heat could pay 22% to 50% more this winter. A Reuters report says the White House is now ‘speaking with U.S. oil and gas producers’ about ‘helping to bring down rising fuel costs.’ Politico adds that this ‘outreach’ to the oil industry is ‘an awkward shift.’ No kidding …” (Editorial, “Biden Suddenly Loves Frackers,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/15/2021)
  • “How about asking Congress and your own regulators to take their foot off the neck of U.S. oil and gas drillers? Before the pandemic, the U.S. had become the world’s largest oil producer. Thanks to private innovation, the end of the U.S. oil export ban passed by the GOP Congress in 2015, and President Trump’s deregulation, America has had to import far less foreign oil. The U.S. reduced the strategic leverage of foreign producers such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin. But since taking office, the Biden Administration has killed the Keystone XL pipeline to transport oil from Canada and the Bakken Shale to Gulf Coast refiners; canceled oil leasing in Alaska; suspended oil leases on federal land, even after a court ruled the moratorium illegal; increased fuel-mileage standards for cars, which favors electric vehicles; and invoked the Endangered Species Act as part of a strategy to reduce drilling on private land in the West.” (Editorial, “Joe Biden Wants OPEC to Drill,” 8/11/2021)



Related Issues: Economy, Keystone XL Pipeline, Energy, Russia