President Biden Isn’t Serious About Lowering Gas Prices

If President Biden Truly Wanted To Lower Gas Prices And Strengthen American Energy Production, He Would Get Serious About Reversing His Administration’s Policies That Are ‘Purposefully Meant To Hinder American Oil And Natural Gas’ Development


“When Mr. Biden took office, international crude prices were less than $60 a barrel and regular gasoline prices averaged less than $2.40 a gallon in the U.S. Since then, oil has nearly doubled, with the international benchmark settling Monday up 3% to $107.53 a barrel. Pump prices have soared to record highs, with regular unleaded averaging a nominal record of $4.22 a gallon in March, according to the EIA, helping drive inflation to a 40-year high.” (“U.S. Wants More Oil From Canada but Not a New Pipeline to Bring It,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/05/2022)


Senate Republicans: ‘The Biden Administration’s Energy Policy Is The Problem; Take The Handcuffs Off Our Energy Producers,’ ‘The American People Know What We Need To Do, And That’s Produce More American Energy’

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY), Senate Energy And Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member: “The American people know what we need to do, and that’s produce more American energy. The President refuses to do it. He hasn’t held an oil and gas lease sale on public land since he’s been President. And even if you have the lease and he says, well, they’re not using the leases, you need to actually get from the government a permission to drill. They haven’t given information to any of those. There’s 4,600 of them today waiting for permission. And if you’re able to find energy, you need to move it. They’re blocking pipeline permits. So the President has his whole list of people that he’s blaming, whether it’s Putin, whether it’s energy companies, whether it’s supply lines, the economy. The American people are not buying it at all.” (Sen. Barrasso, Press Conference, 4/05/2022)

SEN. JOHN HOEVEN (R-ND), Senate Energy Committee Member: “How can the Biden administration tell the people of America they’re trying to solve the problem when they are the problem? The Biden administration’s energy policy is the problem. Take the handcuffs off our energy producers. Nobody does it better in terms of producing energy, in terms of producing oil and gas than the American companies that are doing it.” (Sen. Hoeven, Press Conference, 4/06/2022)

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK), Senate Energy Committee Member: “Apparently President Biden just discovered that the American economy runs on oil and natural gas. After attacking traditional energy sources that fuel our nation for a year, the price at the gas pump has risen significantly. Then Putin’s invasion of Ukraine made prices even worse…. We need long-term policy changes like common sense regulations on pipelines, preventing the Federal Reserve from cutting off access to capital for oil and gas companies, opening up federal lands to energy exploration, and providing regulatory consistency to allow US energy producers certainty to invest again. If Biden wants to lower gas prices, he should spend more time talking about supply solutions with the many US energy companies he’s alienated and less time glad-handing climate-change activists.” (Sen. Lankford, Press Release, 4/01/2022)

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV), Senate Environment And Public Works Committee Ranking Member: “Right now, the world is begging for American leadership. Ukraine is begging for American leadership. Europe is begging for American leadership. That includes energy leadership. We need to incentivize American energy infrastructure buildout, drill on federal lands, and provide regulatory certainty. We must address the poor energy policy decisions of the Biden administration in order to unleash full American energy production to provide long term energy affordability for ourselves and our allies.” (Sen. Capito, Op-Ed, “It’s Time To Unleash American Energy Independence,” The [Wheeling] Intelligencer, 4/06/2022)


President Biden ‘Still Won’t Do What Would Really Make A Difference: Take His Foot Off The Neck Of The U.S. Oil And Gas Industry. … [T]he Administration Continues To Signal That Its Goal Is To Bankrupt Oil And Gas Producers’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “President Biden knows inflation and gasoline prices are killing Democrats in the polls, and he’s scrambling to show he’s doing something about it. Except he still won’t do what would really make a difference: Take his foot off the neck of the U.S. oil and gas industry. … [T]he Administration continues to signal that its goal is to bankrupt oil and gas producers. But before shooting them, Mr. Biden wants their political help. The White House underscored Thursday that it wants to ‘immediately increase supply’ while accelerating the ‘clean energy’ transition. The President also said he wants to make companies pay fees on wells from leases that they haven’t used in years and on acres of public land that ‘they are hoarding without producing.’ But the law already requires companies to produce oil or gas on leases or return their leases to the government. … If the President really wanted to reduce oil prices, he would give a speech announcing a complete halt to his Administration’s war on the U.S. industry. Prices might drop $20 per barrel.” (Editorial, “A Strategic Political Petroleum Release,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/31/2022)

KATHLEEN SGAMMA, Western Energy Alliance President: “Since before taking office, President Biden has been clear that his climate change agenda is a zero-sum relationship with the American oil and natural gas industry; action on climate change meant a diminishment of American oil and natural gas. From day one with the cancelation of the Keystone pipeline followed a week later by the leasing ban, this administration was intent on restricting American oil and natural gas. On federal lands and waters where the federal government has the most control, he has pledged eliminating it altogether. But a funny thing happened. Climate change policies meant to make energy prices ‘necessarily skyrocket’ actually achieved their intentions. Energy prices started to rise last summer and the administration started to feel the heat. The first reaction was to ask Russia and OPEC to increase their production. The policies meant to overregulate American oil and natural gas production continued. When Russia and OPEC failed to heed that request, we in the American oil and natural gas industry made the case that we’d be happy to increase production, but for policies specifically designed to prevent us from doing so. Still the policies continued. Fast forward to February of this year when Russian tanks rolled across the border of Ukraine and prices jumped even higher. The reality of how Europe and the United States rely on the stable sources of reliable, 24/7 energy that oil and natural gas provide became crystal clear. The fallacy of an agenda meant to constrain American energy was exposed. Rather than backing down on policies purposefully meant to hinder American oil and natural gas, the White House pivoted to blaming my industry for high energy prices.” (U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Hearing, 4/05/2022)


Incredibly, ‘Biden Administration Officials Are Seeking Ways To Boost Oil Imports From Canada … But … They Don’t Want To Resurrect The Keystone XL Pipeline That President Biden Effectively Killed On His First Day In Office’

“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)

“At the same time, White House officials say Mr. Biden has no interest in reviving the Keystone XL pipeline project. They say that it couldn’t be completed in time to address today’s shortfall and that the president is still committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels over the long term. ‘While the U.S. continues to engage with a variety of producing countries to address the current supply imbalance we are seeing, the Keystone XL pipeline would have done little to nothing in addressing that supply,’ a White House spokesman said.” (“U.S. Wants More Oil From Canada but Not a New Pipeline to Bring It,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/05/2022)

FLASHBACK: If The Keystone XL Pipeline Had Been Allowed To Go Ahead, The State Department Estimated It Would Have Been Completed In 2013

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Keystone XL Project, 2011: “In total, the Keystone XL Project would consist of approximately 1,711 miles of new, 36-inch-diameter pipeline, with approximately 327 miles of pipeline in Canada and 1,384 miles in the U.S. The overall proposed Keystone XL Project is estimated to cost $7 billion. If permitted, it would begin operation in 2013, with the actual date dependent on the necessary permits, approvals, and authorizations.” (Federal Register Vol. 76, No. 172, 55156, 9/6/2011)

And If President Obama Hadn’t Vetoed Sen. Hoeven’s Bill To Approve The Pipeline In 2015, The Pipeline Would Likely Already Be Operating

SEN. HOEVEN: “[The Biden Administration is] slowing down permitting across the board with all these regulations and restrictions and then they hold up our ability to move oil and gas around the country by holding up pipelines. 2015, I introduced S.1. It was bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. We passed it through the Senate. We passed it through the House. President Obama vetoed it. If he had not vetoed it, today it would be bringing almost a million barrels a day from our closest friend and ally, Canada.” (Sen. Hoeven, Press Conference, 4/06/2022)


In Addition To Dropping Their Irrational Crusade Against The Keystone XL Pipeline, Here Are Six More Actions The Biden Administration Could Take If They Were Serious About Increasing American Energy Supplies And Lowering Gas Prices

Abandon Schemes To Delay Or Shut Down Oil And Natural Gas Exploration On Federal Lands Like The Moratorium Issued In President Biden’s First Week In Office

SEN. CAPITO: “The president … put a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands, moving America from energy superpower back to an increased reliance on foreign adversaries for fuel feedstocks. Equally as important, these are countries that have much more lax environmental rules.” (Sen. Capito, Op-Ed, “It’s Time To Unleash American Energy Independence,” The [Wheeling] Intelligencer, 4/06/2022)

“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)


Allow Onshore Oil And Gas Lease Sales To Go Through, Which The Biden Administration Has Failed To Do For Its Entire First Year In Office

SEN. BARRASSO: “He hasn’t held an oil and gas lease sale on public land since he’s been President. And even if you have the lease and he says, well, they’re not using the leases, you need to actually get from the government a permission to drill. They haven’t given information to any of those.” (Sen. Barrasso, Press Conference, 4/05/2022)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Interior has been slow-rolling oil and gas permits since Mr. Biden took office. A judge last June struck down the President’s leasing ban on federal land and ordered Interior to hold quarterly leases as required by law. Only in November did Interior finally hold an offshore sale. Then green groups sued, and a liberal judge blocked the sales. The Administration hasn’t appealed. Still, Mr. Biden hasn’t held an onshore lease sale and is the only President in at least two decades not to have done so in a given year.” (Editorial, “Biden’s Fossil-Fuel Blockade,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/4/2022)

“When President Biden first took office last year, the administration instituted a controversial moratorium on new leasing in order to conduct a report examining the shortcomings of the federal oil program. That temporary ban was later overturned by a federal judge. In a twist, the White House’s first and only lease auction for federal minerals, held in the Gulf of Mexico last year, was also overturned by a separate federal judge for failing to account for the climate impacts of selling oil and gas leases.” (“Oil Industry Report Warns Of Revenue Bleed Without New Leasing,” E&E News, 3/29/2022)

“Wyoming will not see a federal oil and gas lease sale in the first quarter of 2022. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) told producers last year that it would ‘offer 195 parcels totaling about 179,001 acres in an oil and gas lease sale in the first quarter of calendar year 2022,’ in accordance with a June court order directing it to resume quarterly lease sales. But federal law requires the agency to announce a sale at least 45 days before it is held. The first quarter of 2022 ends on Mar. 31, and that 45-day window closed [in mid-February].” (“Biden Administration Misses Deadline To Hold First-Quarter Lease Sale In Wyoming,” Casper Star Tribune, 2/16/2022)


Stop Delaying Offshore Oil And Gas Lease Sales That Are Required By Law

SEN. CAPITO: “Endless regulatory delay and environmental lawsuits — including on permits already issued — delay more than pipelines and kill more than jobs. They also crush our economy with inflation and leave us, and our allies, more susceptible to bad actors like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran. All of these actions have a tremendous chilling effect on investments, buildout, and research and development of domestic energy infrastructure.” (Sen. Capito, Op-Ed, “It’s Time To Unleash American Energy Independence,” The [Wheeling] Intelligencer, 4/06/2022)

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)

“Under a court order, the Interior Department sold oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico last November, but a federal judge later invalidated the auction … And though required by federal law, a new five-year plan for selling leases is not on track to be in place by June 30, when the current Obama-era program expires.” (“Biden Signals Third Year of Offshore Oil-Leasing Delay in Gulf,” Bloomberg News, 3/29/2022)

Yet The Administration Is Now Signaling They Want To Delay Offshore Drilling 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)


Restore Oil And Gas Leases In Alaska That Were Already Approved, Which The Biden Administration Is Considering Voiding Altogether

In June 2021, The Administration Suspended Oil And Gas Leases In ANWR

“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 Administration Then Threw Out Previous Environmental Reviews And Initiated A New Months-Long Process, Stalling Development Even Further, With Frustrated Alaskan Officials Decrying ‘Another Political Stall Tactic At The Behest Of Radical Environmental Groups’

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK), Senate Energy Committee Member: “Alaskans for over 40 years have urged Congress to develop and implement a leasing program for the Coastal Plain. With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Secretary is directed to establish two area wide leasing sales, not less than 400,000 acres each in the Coastal Plain. A distinguished team of career experts and scientists at the Department of the Interior spent thousands of hours over nearly two years developing a full range of alternatives and protective mitigation measures that would apply to all oil and gas activities in the 1002 Area, and now this administration is going to throw it all away and start over because they don’t agree with it. That’s politics plain and simple.” (Sen. Sullivan, Press Release, 8/03/2021)

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN (R-AK), Senate Environment And Public Works Committee Member: “BLM conducted years of fact-based, scientific work in developing a durable EIS and leasing program for the non-wilderness 1002 Area of ANWR, as required by federal law. Today, the Biden administration has thrown the work of the BLM career scientists out the window in just another political stall tactic at the behest of radical environmental groups and far-left members of the administration. By initiating this supplemental EIS, the Biden administration is ignoring the will of Congress, the will of Alaskans, and the best interests of the Alaska Native communities on the North Slope. This is lawlessness, pure and simple.” (Sen. Sullivan, Press Release, 8/03/2021)

“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 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)


Have FERC Completely Rescind Its Policy Designed To Make Permitting Of Natural Gas Pipelines More Difficult And Costly

“A federal energy regulator voted unanimously Thursday night to pull back on a policy that would assess the climate effects of existing natural gas pipelines. In its Thursday meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said the proposal would be treated as a draft and only be applied to upcoming pipeline projects…. FERC approved the policy in February after years of criticism from environmental groups …” (“Energy Regulator Backtracks On Assessing Climate Impacts Of Natural Gas Pipelines,” The Hill, 3/25/2022)

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “I am concerned about the recent FERC orders regarding natural gas pipelines and facilities … Unfortunately, these ill-advised policies will have a chilling effect on the market and inject significant levels of new uncertainty to a process that was already long and laborious enough…. As Americans struggle with the worst inflation in 40 years, including natural gas prices up 24 percent compared to just one year ago, it will not help American families to further restrict supply and make it nearly impossible to approve the very pipeline projects that could put more natural gas on the market. At a time when we should be looking for ways to expedite the approval of these important projects, the Commission has chosen on a purely partisan basis to do the exact opposite. Erecting new roadblocks to affordable, abundant energy makes no sense, particularly in this tenuous time…. Hamstringing our energy security with new ill-defined ‘environmental justice’ factors and both direct and indirect climate effects — many of which are not even under pipeline builders’ control — is not a recipe for success. We should be streamlining the pipeline review and permitting processes, not making them more arduous, cumbersome and time-consuming.” (Sen. McConnell, Letter to FERC Chairman Richard Glick, 3/24/2022)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “The timing of these new mountains of red tape is especially baffling. About a week before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and our European allies needed U.S liquefied natural gas more than ever, the FERC chose to impose these new restrictions on the very projects that would carry natural gas to our LNG terminals.” (Sen. McConnell, Letter to FERC Chairman Richard Glick, 3/24/2022)

SEN. BARRASSO: “America and our allies need more, not less, natural gas and natural gas infrastructure. President Biden and his appointees should be working to make it easier to develop and deliver this critical resource… FERC’s decision to step back from its destructive natural gas policy statements is a first step. Today’s action is an acknowledgement of the damage these statements would have done if left in place. FERC must go back to the drawing board and start over on these harmful proposals.” (Sen. Barrasso, Press Release, 3/24/2022)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV), Senate Energy Committee Chairman: “Today’s hearing is about the recent action taken by the Democratic Commissioners on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which – in my view – served to elevate environmental considerations above American energy reliability, security, and independence…. I believe you all took the direction from the court and applied it far more broadly than you needed to, setting in motion a process that will serve to further shut down the infrastructure we desperately need as a country and further politicize energy development in our country…. [W]hat is maddening is that we’re prolonging the high price pain with unnecessary regulatory uncertainty and short-sighted actions like the ones FERC took [in February]…. These actions and the arbitrary lines drawn within them suggest a political agenda that the Democratic majority of FERC has gone overboard with rushing forward. Your policy statement updates a similar statement from 1999 and concludes a process initiated by former FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre, but instead of building on those documents your work swings the pendulum far to the left. Doing so exacerbates the politicization of your agency, undermines long-term regulatory certainty and the ability of industry to plan and invest.” (U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Hearing, 3/03/2022)


Have The SEC Abandon Its Rule ‘Designed To Elevate Climate Change Measures Above Material Financial Factors In Investment Decisions As A Means Of Denying Capital To Oil And Natural Gas Projects’

SEN. SULLIVAN: “[T]he Biden administration is strong arming financial institutions not to invest and then they’re appointing, some of whom get confirmed, some whom don’t, federal officials whose focus is to starve the oil and gas industry of capital…. Every single Biden administration nominee, confirmed or not, focuses on starving capital from the American energy sector.” (Sen. Sullivan, Press Conference, 4/06/2022)

  • SEN. SULLIVAN: “And now you have the SEC chairman. Some of us talked to him. ‘Hey, don’t make your tenure all about starving capital to American energy companies.’ That was the one thing I focused on during his confirmation hearing. He said ‘I wasn’t going to do it.’ He did it.” (Sen. Sullivan, Press Conference, 4/06/2022)

SEN. MANCHIN: “Ever since its founding following the Great Depression, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been tasked with three important objectives: to protect investors; to maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets; and to facilitate capital formation. All of these objectives are critical to maintaining public trust in the U.S. financial market. On March 21, 2022, the Democratic majority of the Commissioners approved the publication of a new proposed rule that would require domestic and foreign registrants to disclose certain climate-related impacts. I am deeply concerned that the proposed rule has the potential to run counter to the SEC’s long-standing commitment to its mission by adding undue burdens on companies, while simultaneously sending a signal of opposition to the all-of-the-above energy policy that is critical to our country right now.” (Sen. Manchin, Letter to SEC Chairman Gensler, 4/04/2022)

  • SEN. MANCHIN: “Arguably, though, the most concerning piece of the proposed rule is what appears to be the targeting of our nation’s fossil fuel companies. Not only will these companies face heightened reporting requirements on account of their operations, but they will also be subjected to additional scrutiny for the Scope 3 emission disclosures of other companies that utilize their services and products. Furthermore, accelerated and large accelerated filers would be required to take the additional step of obtaining certification from a third-party to attest to the accuracy of the disclosures.” (Sen. Manchin, Letter to SEC Chairman Gensler, 4/04/2022)

KATHLEEN SGAMMA: “The administration should halt the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rule on climate change disclosure. Like other misguided policies intended to address climate change, it will have the opposite effect. It is designed to elevate climate change measures above material financial factors in investment decisions as a means of denying capital to oil and natural gas projects.” (U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Hearing, 4/05/2022)

  • SGAMMA: “Activist investors, encouraged by an administration intent on expanding its financial regulatory powers, have worked to de-bank and de-capitalize the industry. Many companies, particularly the small independents who drill the majority of federal wells, are having difficulty acquiring the credit and capital necessary to develop. By calling off bureaucratic efforts to deny financing to the industry, the president could send a strong signal to the market that investments in oil and natural gas are safe and new production could move forward.” (U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Hearing, 4/05/2022)



Related Issues: Keystone XL Pipeline, Energy, Infrastructure