Democrats Vote AGAIN To Keep Americans’ Energy Bills High

After Rejecting An Earlier Amendment To Stop The Biden Administration’s Constant Delays And Obstruction Of Oil And Gas Development On Federal Lands, Democrats Then Voted Against Sen. Kennedy’s Amendment To Require The Administration To End Its Blockade Of Offshore Drilling For Oil And Gas


All 50 Senate Democrats voted against Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-LA) amendment to force the Biden Administration to hold offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. (S. Amdt. 5387, H.R. 5376, Roll Call Vote #303: Amendment Rejected 50-50: D 0-48; R 50-0; I 0-2, 8/07/2022)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): “On day one, President Biden launched a full-blown war on America’s oil and gas jobs, and we see the results: Louisianians’ cost of living has skyrocketed and the price of almost every product in this country has gone up—thanks to his attacks. My amendment is the first step to restoring the thousands of energy jobs killed by this administration, and returning Louisiana and America to the days when families did not have to choose between putting food on their tables or gas in their cars.” (Sen. Kennedy, Press Release, 8/06/2022)

Earlier, all 50 Senate Democrats voted against Sen. John Barrasso’s (R-WY) amendment to force the Biden Administration to hold onshore lease sales as required by law. (S. Amdt. 5409, H.R. 5376, Roll Call Vote #291: Amendment Rejected 50-50: D 0-48; R 50-0; I 0-2, 8/07/2022)


FLASHBACK: Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) And Mark Kelly (D-AZ) Said They Were For Opening Up Offshore Oil & Gas Production In The United States Before They Voted Against It

SENS. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV) AND MARK KELLY (D-AZ): “We are writing to urge you to develop and implement a new Five-Year Program for oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico without delay. Americans are facing record-level gasoline prices every day when they commute to work, drive their children to school and buy groceries and medicine…. A new Five-Year Program is needed to establish a schedule for oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and west Florida. The program should be flexible for responding to high gasoline prices now and in the future and enable the United States to become more energy independent to meet emerging geopolitical threats…. Allowing energy projects to languish in court or remain suspended in years of bureaucratic limbo is not addressing the pain at the pump …” (Sen. Manchin, Press Release, 4/01/2022)


REMINDER: Gas Prices Are Nearly $2 Per Gallon More Than When President Biden Was Sworn Into Office

As of August 1st, 2022, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the weekly national retail gasoline price was 4.192 per gallon. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 8/04/2022)

According to the EIA, the weekly national retail gasoline price on January 18, 2021 was $2.379 per gallon. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 8/04/2022)


The Biden Administration Has Spent A Year And A Half Trying To Shut Down Offshore Drilling In The United States

“Frank Macchiarola, a senior vice president at the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group that represents oil and gas companies, said in a statement that he would ‘urge the administration to end the uncertainty’ for the oil industry and issue the five year plan. Mr. Macchiarola said the decision to scrap lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska ‘is becoming a pattern’ in the Biden administration. ‘The administration talks about the need for more supply and acts to restrict it,’ he said.” (“Biden Administration Cancels Drilling Sales in Alaska and Gulf of Mexico, The New York Times, 5/12/2022)

The Biden Administration Refuses To Appeal A Court Ruling Shutting Down Offshore Oil And Gas Leases

“The Biden administration will not challenge a federal court ruling that it did not sufficiently consider climate change when it auctioned off 1.7 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico last year, accepting a decision that invalidated the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in the nation’s history. In a document filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, lawyers for the government said they would not appeal the district court’s ruling canceling the lease sale.” (“Biden Administration Won’t Appeal Judge’s Ruling Revoking Gulf Of Mexico Drilling Leases,” The Washington Post, 2/28/2022)

“Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leasing has been embroiled in litigation and the Biden administration’s climate change agenda, which calls for curtailing fossil fuels development. A 2021 federal court ruling required leasing to proceed, but a separate January ruling vacated some Gulf of Mexico leases.” (“Oil Industry Sees Ongoing Leasing Pause in New Biden Gulf Plan,” Bloomberg Law, 7/06/2022)

And They’ve Canceled Oil And Gas Lease Sales In Alaska And The Gulf Of Mexico

“The Interior Department confirmed Wednesday that it will not hold three oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska that had been scheduled to take place, taking millions of acres off the auction block. The decision, which comes as U.S. gas prices have reached record highs, effectively ends the possibility of the federal government holding a lease sale in coastal waters this year. The Biden administration is poised to let the nationwide offshore drilling program expire [in June] without a new plan in place. While President Biden has spoken in recent weeks about the need to supply oil and gas to Europe so those nations can stop importing energy from Russia in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the move would mark a victory for climate activists intent on curbing U.S. fossil fuel leasing.” (“Biden Pulls 3 Offshore Oil Lease Sales, Curbing New Drilling This Year,” The Washington Post, 5/11/2022)

The Biden Administration Has Now Instituted A ‘De Facto Moratorium’ On Offshore Oil And Gas Leasing As The Interior Department Stalls A New 5-Year Leasing Plan Required By Law

“A ‘de facto moratorium’ on offshore oil and gas leasing is taking hold over the next several months while the Biden administration considers its options for a proposed five-year leasing plan for the Gulf of Mexico, an oil and gas industry attorney said. But the industry has little legal recourse because the remedy would be for a court to order the Interior Department to do what it’s already doing—take steps to finalize the new five-year plan, said Jason Hill, counsel at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in Houston, who represents industry clients. Interior is proposing as many as 11 lease sales over the next five years, according to the draft plan made public late July 1. They include 10 in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Cook Inlet off the Alaskan coast. The plan also includes an option to conduct no lease sales. The proposal signals the agency is ‘confirming that they’re not planning on having any lease sales this year,’ Hill said. ‘What you’ve got with the agency not completing the five-year plan is a de facto moratorium on leasing,’ he said. That indicates to industry that the Biden administration has little interest in producing oil in the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s having a ‘chilling effect’ on companies’ interest in further development in the region, Hill said.” (“Oil Industry Sees Ongoing Leasing Pause in New Biden Gulf Plan,” Bloomberg Law, 7/06/2022)

“The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requires a plan for offshore oil and gas leasing to be issued every five years, setting out a specific schedule for offshore oil and gas lease sales, including information about the size, location, and timing of each sale. Proposed plans normally are published long before the existing plan expires. The previous five-year plan for lease sales held from 2017 to 2022 was first proposed in 2015.” (“Oil Industry Sees Ongoing Leasing Pause in New Biden Gulf Plan,” Bloomberg Law, 7/06/2022)

In Its Budget, The Administration Signaled They Want To Delay Offshore Drilling Well Into 2023

“The Biden administration doesn’t anticipate selling offshore drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico through at least October 2023, effectively stretching a delay in that activity to a third year, according to economic projections included in its newly released budget proposal…. The anticipated offshore leasing pause comes despite the war in Ukraine and high costs for oil, gas and gasoline that have prompted administration officials to implore energy companies to pump more crude. The Gulf of Mexico generates about 15% of the nation’s crude production.” (“Biden Signals Third Year of Offshore Oil-Leasing Delay in Gulf,” Bloomberg News, 3/29/2022)


Meanwhile, The Biden Administration Keeps Looking To Other Countries To Supply America With Oil

Biden Cancelled The U.S.-Canada Keystone XL Pipeline On His First Day In Office And Then Was Looking For Ways To Import More Oil From Canada A Year Later

“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 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)

“Biden administration officials are seeking ways to boost oil imports from Canada, people familiar with the situation say, but with one big caveat—they don’t want to resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline that President Biden effectively killed on his first day in office.” (“U.S. Wants More Oil From Canada but Not a New Pipeline to Bring It,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/05/2022)

Biden And His Diplomats Have Repeatedly Asked Saudi Arabia And OPEC To Increase Oil Production

“The administration has been seeking for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to make a significant increase in oil production as a way to calm soaring prices. But relations between the U.S. and the two Gulf nations have been souring recently…. [T]he Saudis have rebuffed those requests from the U.S.” (“Getting More Oil From Saudi Arabia Or The UAE Could Require U.S. Concessions,” NPR, 3/31/2022)

“U.S. President Joe Biden will make the case for greater oil production from OPEC nations to bring down gasoline prices when he meets Gulf leaders in Saudi Arabia this week, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said [in July]. … Sullivan said members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have the capacity to take ‘further steps’ to increase oil production despite suggestions from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that they can barely increase oil production.” (“Biden Will Push For Greater Oil Output On Mideast Trip –Sullivan,” Reuters, 7/11/2022)

Biden Administration Officials Actually Traveled To Venezuela For ‘Rare Face-To-Face Meetings… With A View To Allowing Venezuelan Crude Oil Back On To The Open International Market’

“The Biden administration is seeking to ease oil sanctions on Venezuela as part of a broader U.S. strategy to temper oil prices that have skyrocketed because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to people familiar with the matter. U.S. officials began rare face-to-face meetings with Venezuelan officials in Caracas over the weekend, with a view to allowing Venezuelan crude oil back on to the open international market, these people said. … The proposals being discussed in the Venezuelan capital would ease sanctions for a limited period on U.S. national security grounds.” (“U.S. Officials Meet With Regime In Venezuela, To Discuss Oil Exports To Replace Russia’s,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/06/2022)


FLASHBACK: President Biden And His Advisors Came In To Office Pledging To Curtail Affordable Fossil Fuel Production In The United States, And They Have Proceeded To Do Just That

Biden: ‘I Guarantee You. We’re Going To End Fossil Fuel’

JOE BIDEN: “I want you to look at my eyes. I guarantee you. I guarantee you. We’re going to end fossil fuel.” (“In Intimate Moment, Biden Vows To ‘End Fossil Fuel’,” The Associated Press, 9/06/2019)

“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)

Biden Administration Officials: ‘President Biden Remains Absolutely Committed To Not Moving Forward With Additional Drilling On Public Lands’

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)

THEN-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)

Biden’s Interior Secretary: ‘If I Had My Way, It’d Be Great To Stop All Oil And Gas Leasing On Federal Lands’

NOW-INTERIOR SECRETARY DEB HAALAND: “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)


Piling On The Pain, Democrats’ Reckless Taxing And Spending Spree Includes Tax And Fee Increases On American Energy, Which Consumers Will Pay In Higher Energy Bills

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK), Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Member: “What else do [Democrats] try to do to ‘lower’ inflation? Well, they have a new tax and fee, and new royalties that are on oil and gas production in the United States. So while gasoline prices are high, they actually add another fee on that, [which will] raise the price of gasoline again. They’ve studied the area on natural gas, which people in my state use to heat their homes, heat their water, [for] electricity generation, and the natural gas folks have looked at the features of that and said the price of natural gas will go up 17 percent—17 percent—just [due to] the actions of this bill. So while they say this is about taking out inflation, it’s actually going to raise the price of everything.” (Sen. Lankford, Press Conference, 8/03/2022)

Democrats Are Charging Companies More To Produce Oil And Gas In The United States

“The bill would raise the minimum royalties for federal offshore oil and gas to 16.67% from the current 12.5%, and for 10 years would include a maximum of 18.75%, after which the cap would expire. The bill would revise the Mineral Leasing Act for onshore federal royalties to raise the minimum rate to 16.67% from its current 12.5%.” (“Democrats Reach Budget Bill Deal With Raft Of Oil, Gas Provisions,” Oil & Gas Journal, 7/28/2022)

Democrats Are Raising Taxes On Oil, Which Will Cost Americans More At The Pump

“The legislation, which may get a Senate vote as soon as this week, would reinstate and increase a long-lapsed tax on crude and imported petroleum products to 16.4 cents per barrel, according to a summary of the plan released Sunday by the Senate’s tax-writing committee. The fee would be paid by US refineries receiving crude oil and importers of petroleum products, according to the Congressional Research Service… The proposed levy on imports is a revival of the Superfund tax, which helped fund the clean-up of hazardous waste sites and previously stood at 9.7 cents per barrel until it lapsed at the end of 1995. In addition to reinstating and increasing the tax, the Senate proposal would index the fee to inflation.” (“Manchin Spending Deal Includes Billions in Oil Import Taxes,” Bloomberg, 7/31/2022)

AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: “Democrats’ reckless tax and spend spree endorsed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) includes a $12 billion tax on crude oil that will be paid by consumers in the form of higher gas and energy costs…. As if it weren’t bad enough, Democrats have pegged their tax increase to inflation. As inflation increases, so will the level of tax…. This tax hike is a clear violation of President Biden’s pledge not to raise any form of tax on anyone making less than $400,000 per year.” (“Manchin-Schumer Bill Includes $12 Billion Crude Oil Tax,” Americans for Tax Reform Website, 8/01/2022)

And Democrats Are Also Levying A New Tax On Natural Gas, ‘Creating A Burden That Will Fall Most Heavily On Lower-Income Americans’

“The 725-page bill released last week would also impose other costs for the oil and gas industry. It places a new first-time fee on methane emissions rising to as much as $1,500 a ton and increases the royalty rate companies pay to the government for oil and gas produced on federal land.” (“Manchin Spending Deal Includes Billions in Taxes on Oil Sector,” Bloomberg, 7/31/2022)

AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION: “On behalf of the companies and associations that make up the natural gas supply chain and the 180 million Americans and the 5.5 million businesses that rely on natural gas, we would like to express our concerns about including a methane emissions fee or tax in budget reconciliation legislation…. New fees or taxes on energy companies will raise costs for customers, creating a burden that will fall most heavily on lower-income Americans…. [B]ased on similar proposals introduced earlier this Congress, we estimate that the fee could amount to tens of billions of dollars annually. These major new costs most likely will result in higher bills for natural gas customers, including families, small businesses, and power generators…. Any increase in low-income households’ energy costs could prove devastating.” (American Gas Association and 27 Natural gas Supply Chain Associations, Letter to Sens. Schumer and McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, and Rep. McCarthy, 9/07/2021)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Energy, Democrats' Reckless Taxing And Spending Spree, Inflation