Lankford, Cassidy, Colleagues Demand Biden Administration End War on US Oil & Gas
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, joined Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) to lead a group of Republican senators in demanding the Biden Administration end its assault on domestic oil and gas production and continue to sell oil and gas leases on federal land and water. The push comes in response to the Department of Interior’s (DOI) draft proposal for the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, in which the Department hinted that it might cancel future lease sales for the next five years. This bad news for domestic production comes on the heels of the OPEC announcement today that they plan to slash international oil production by 2 million barrels per day and as gas prices remain high in Oklahoma. Lankford responded to the news of OPEC cutting production
“American families are struggling to keep up with rising costs due to inflation, high energy prices, and persistent supply chain issues,” wrote the Senators. “It is our obligation to do everything within our power to help ease these burdens and remove this uncertainty for both Americans and our allies.”
“One of the most effective ways we can do this is to increase future domestic oil and natural gas production through long-term leasing certainty,” continued the Senators. “The Department can help domestic energy production and put American energy consumers first.”
Lankford and Cassidy were joined by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jim Risch (R-ID), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Kennedy (R-LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mike Braun (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
Lankford continues to stand strong for domestic oil and gas production. Lankford stood against the Democrats’ tax-and-spend bill, the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” which he warned could raise natural gas prices by as much as 17 percent. He offered an amendment to exempt traditional energy cost recovery allowances, including percentage depletion, intangible drilling costs, geological and geophysical expenditures, natural gas gathering lines, and others from the book minimum tax, but it failed in a vote of 50-50. Lankford continues to call out the Biden Administration for its anti-US energy policies that he says are doing nothing substantive to fight high inflation.
Read the full letter HERE and below:
Dear Secretary Haaland:
We are writing regarding your July 1, 2022, release of the “Proposed Program” for the Interior Department’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. While the release of a “Proposed Program,” after months of delay, is a step in the right direction, we are concerned by the Department’s suggestion that a no lease option is a possibility for the final program. Further, failure to conduct any lease sales which encourage bidding could, as the Department says, cause increased air emissions from substitute production, primarily from overseas imports. We are also closely monitoring efforts by the administration to halt lease sales or to make lease sales economically unattractive in order to discourage bidding.
American families are struggling to keep up with rising costs due to inflation, high energy prices, and persistent supply chain issues. In addition, local businesses that are part of the ecosystem of US energy production are being confronted with decisions that impact their employees and employees’ families due to uncertainty about future natural resource development. Also, our allies in Europe are facing an energy crisis forcing the closure of manufacturing businesses and impacting supply chains which also leads to inflationary pressures throughout their economy. It is our obligation to do everything within our power to help ease these burdens and remove this uncertainty for both Americans and our allies.
One of the most effective ways we can do this is to increase future domestic oil and natural gas production through long-term leasing certainty. That is why we are encouraging 10 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one lease sale in the Cook Inlet in the next five-year offshore leasing program.
The Department can help domestic energy production and put American energy consumers first. While the Department has awarded leases to the high bidders in Lease Sale 257, the Department should also 1) conduct the three congressionally mandated offshore lease sales with economically competitive terms and robust acreage that will attract significant industry interest; and 2) offer quarterly lease sales with desirable acreage across federal lands. Finalizing the five-year program with a commitment to semi-annual area-wide lease sales will also be a big step for American energy security and demonstrate to the American people the administration is serious about actions that can contribute to lower energy costs.
We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to seeing the release of the Final National OCS Program for 2023-2028.