Democrats Vote To Keep Americans’ Energy Bills High

Senate Democrats Voted To Continue President Biden’s War On Fossil Fuels By Rejecting Sen. Barrasso’s Amendment That Would Have Reversed The Biden Administration’s Assault On Oil & Natural Gas Development On Federal Lands


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)

  • Among the Democrats voting for higher energy prices were Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Raphael Warnock (D-GA). (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; Bennet, Cortez Masto, Hassan, Kelly, Manchin, Murray, and Warnock voted Nay)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY), Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member: “During his first week in office Joe Biden recklessly blocked all oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters. Predictably, prices skyrocketed. My amendment will reverse the damage, and once again, Democrats will be forced to choose between dictators or American energy.” (U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member, Press Release, 8/06/2022)

SEN. BARRASSO: “As we all know, the American people are struggling. They’re suffering under Joe Biden and the Democrats’ inflation. And why do we have this? It’s because last March, they decided they needed to spend an awful lot of taxpayer money on our economy. And we said, ‘Hey! This is going to raise the cost for everybody.’ And it has. You fast forward to where we are now, the Democrats are at it again – trying to raise taxes and increase government spending at a time of high inflation and a time of recession. A 40 year-high of inflation and a lot of that we know is related to energy … The specific impacts of what the Democrats are going to try to do, and it’s going to raise energy costs for the American families…. So much of inflation is related to energy. And what we know is the price of gas today at the pump is still $2 a gallon more than it was when Joe Biden took office.” (Sen. Barrasso, Press Conference, 8/05/2022)

  • SEN. BARRASSO: “People know what they want. They want energy that’s affordable, available, and reliable. And we know that the country is already looking at the fact that we may face blackouts as the summer progresses. The experts have said about two-thirds of the country is going to be subject to blackouts, but that doesn’t seem to stop the Democrats who want to raise taxes on American energy as well as in energy that we import from overseas. They actually have in this bill a fee on every barrel of oil that is imported. Billions of dollars of increased taxes, which will be going to the pain at the pump. Remember, this is Joe Biden, who just a year ago at the Glasgow Climate Summit in Scotland, went and asked Vladimir Putin to produce more Russian oil and send to the United States. We went to Iran for more oil, Venezuela for more oil, and just went hat-in-hand to Saudi Arabia saying send us more. That will all be taxed at a higher rate in taxing every barrel more than ever before. Oh, and they indexed it to inflation. So at a time when we have 9.1% inflation, Joe Biden and the Democrats want to put a tax that’s growing at the rate of inflation, which is going to make inflation worse. That’s what these folks are up to. So the pain at the pump is going to get worse, and it’s not just on the cost of energy to drive your car. It’s also the energy to heat your home, energy that powers our country, energy for electricity. So, Joe Machin has agreed to something that the folks in West Virginia and in Wyoming said, ‘Joe Manchin, what the heck are you thinking?’” (Sen. Barrasso, Press Conference, 8/05/2022)


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)


From Its Very First Day In Office, The Biden Administration Has Worked To Constrain Oil And Gas Development On Federal Lands In The United States

The Biden Administration Tried To Suspend All Federal Oil And Natural Gas Lease Sales During Its First Week, Despite Being Required To By Law, And Didn’t Hold A Sale Until A Year And A Half Later, After Being Ordered To By A Federal Judge

“The U.S. government [during the final week of June 2022] is holding its first onshore oil and natural gas drilling lease auctions since President Joe Biden took office after a federal court blocked the administration’s attempt to suspend such sales because of climate change worries…. Biden suspended new leasing just a week after taking office in January 2021. A federal judge in Louisiana ordered the sales to resume, saying Interior officials had offered no ‘rational explanation’ for canceling them and only Congress could do so.” (“Biden Administration Holding Its First Onshore Oil Sales,” The Associated Press, 6/29/2022)

And When The Lease Sales Were Finally Allowed To Go Through, Biden Administration Officials Emphasized It Was Only Due To The Court Order Because ‘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)

Even When The Lease Sale Was Finally Held, The Administration Kept Removing Large Tracts Of Land

“The BLM offered just 21% of the 570,000 lease acres initially nominated in Wyoming, withdrawing large tracts … ‘It’s just clear that this administration is doing everything it can to make it more difficult for leasing on public lands, which is detrimental to the state of Wyoming given our place as the leader of development on public lands in the U.S.,’ Petroleum Association of Wyoming Director of Communications Ryan McConnaughey said…. Amidst administrative appeals, lawsuits, a new administration and Biden’s 2021 indefinite moratorium on BLM oil and gas lease sales (since struck down in the courts), both the Interior Department and the BLM withdrew parcels, citing various concerns.” (“Oil And Gas, Green Groups Both Pan Reduced Lease Sale,” Wyoming News Exchange, 7/14/2022)

The Biden Administration Has Spent A Year And A Half Curtailing Oil And Gas Leases In Alaska: They Suspended Oil And Gas Leases In ANWR, Threw Out Previous Environmental Reviews And This Year Significantly Shrank The Area Of Alaska National Petroleum Reserve Eligible For Drilling

“The Biden administration on [June 1, 2021] 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 United States will start a new environmental review of oil and gas leasing in an Alaska wildlife refuge, it said on Tuesday, a process that may determine the fate of drilling parcels handed out in the final days of the Trump administration. The widely anticipated move comes two months after U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration suspended the nine leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending an environmental analysis. … When it suspended the leases, the Interior Department said a new review would determine whether they would stand, be voided, or be subject to mitigation measures. The administration kicked off that review with a notice on a federal government website announcing a 60-day public comment period. The entire process could take about 18 months to complete, it said.” (“U.S. Orders New Review Of Drilling In Alaska Wildlife Refuge,” Reuters, 8/03/2021)

“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)

Last 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 [November 15th] 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)

In The Last Week, Biden’s BLM Reversed A Decision That Would Have Opened Up Drilling Areas In California

“California officials on Monday announced a settlement reversing a Trump-era decision opening central California to new oil and gas drilling on public lands. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) and a trio of state agencies against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2020. Newsom and Bonta joined the state Air Resources Board Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Water Resources in a challenge to BLM plans to allow drilling on more than 1 million acres of public lands. The officials alleged the plan would open up the lands without a proper environmental review or an analysis of its impact on local residents. The terms of the Monday settlement include a moratorium on new oil and gas leasing while the BLM conducts a more thorough review. The agency specifically agreed to conduct a new supplemental environmental impact statement before holding any new lease sales. The California officials will also reserve the right to dispute or challenge the replacement statement, according to Bonta’s office.” (“Feds Agree To Reverse Trump-Era Decision Opening Central California Lands To Drilling,” The Hill, 8/01/2022)


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’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: Democrats' Reckless Taxing And Spending Spree, Inflation, Energy, Senate Democrats, Taxes