03.10.22

Lankford Hits the Gas on Reversing Biden’s Anti-traditional Energy Policies

Introduces new bill to revert back to Trump energy regulatory scheme

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s floor speech on YouTube.

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s floor speech on Rumble.

WASHINGTON, DC – Following his Q&A in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing this morning on how to use energy “as a tool and a weapon,” Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Energy Regulations Certainty Act to prevent President Biden from issuing new US oil and gas regulations and restrictions until after Russian troops have withdrawn from Ukraine. Lankford also addressed the Senate on why it is absolutely critical that we unleash US energy production immediately.

“Stopping our purchases of Russian oil is vital to show Russia that their aggressive actions have consequences,” said Lankford. “Biden wants to replace Russian oil with oil from bad actors like Iran and Venezuela, which is another bad idea. I want us to return to US energy independence and use our own supply. Biden wants us to buy steel and other goods that are ‘made in America,’ but apparently ‘Buy American’ stops there and doesn’t include US oil and gas. Biden is beholden to climate-change progressives, but American families trying to buy gasoline and heat their homes are not.”

Lankford continues to lead the Senate on how to address the problems Biden has caused for stalled US energy production, skyrocketing gas prices, and increased home heating costs. Lankford continues to express support for Ukraine amid Russian aggression and repeatedly called on the US to cut off the purchase of Russian oil and gas. Lankford sent two letters to the President asking him to restore America’s energy dominance and to change course on the failing energy policies that are emboldening Putin. Lankford stood up to FERC for its ongoing push to stifle and even stop US energy production because of Biden’s lock-step with climate-change extremists.

In an Energy Committee hearing this morning, Lankford pointed out that even President Biden’s own Energy Information Administration (EIA) knows we need traditional energy, saying, “President Biden’s EIA numbers for the next 30 years, show that oil and gas usage worldwide will continue to increase past 2050, that even President Biden’s numbers from his Administration, as they look at oil and gas usage and the importance of oil and gas for the next 30 years, list globally we’re going to continue to need more oil and gas.”

Background on Lankford’s Energy Regulations Certainty Act

Lankford’s bill would put a moratorium on new regulations that could negatively impact domestic energy production until 180 days after Russian troops are withdrawn from Ukraine, which includes regulatory schemes like the Waters of the US rule, the new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) policy statements of essentially refusing to permit new oil and gas projects, and the social cost of carbon pall that continues to loom over US energy production. To undue the negative impacts on US energy independence of the first year of the Biden Administration, Lankford’s bill would revert the energy regulatory frameworks back to what they were on January 19, 2021, and would reinstate approval for the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.

Transcript of Lankford’s remarks on the Senate floor

I was at the State of the Union address, as the gentleman in the chair and most of the folks in this room. In the State of the Union address, the President made a very strong statement. I was pleased to be able to hear him say he made this statement, ‘We'll buy American to make sure every, everything from the deck of an aircraft carrier to the steel in the highway guardrails is made in America, from beginning to end. All of it, all of it.’

Great. What he left out is what we marked with a little asterisk here, as everything, all of it, all it, seems to be except oil and gas.

Gas is one of the things that is essential for us. It's not just transportation. It's not just electricity. The carpet I’m standing on has petroleum products in it. The finish on this desk has petroleum products in it. The suit that the suit that people are wearing often have petroleum products in it. Paint on the walls, petroleum products all over this room and is needed for all kinds of things.

Our economy is connected to petroleum. It doesn't mean we can't do it cleaner. That doesn't mean we can't do it but it's interesting to me to be able to note that when we talk about buy American and doing American, now when there's the conversation and now decision finally from the Biden Administration that we're going to cut off Russian oil and gas coming into the United States, good. Then it immediately turns to let's get it from Venezuela or from Iran or find some other source.

And we're all saying: time out. There's this country called the United States that we also produce oil and gas. And we should be focused on what does it take to be able to do it more here so that we're not dependent on any country, especially the country that's run by an autocratic dictator. I wish this was the only statement I would challenge on it, but I was quite shocked that President Biden’s envoy for climate John Kerry as the Russians were invading Ukraine made this statement, ‘I hope president Putin will help us stay on track with respect for what we need to do for the climate.’ Then he said that a Russian war could cause massive emission consequences. Wow. The focus seemed to be on emission consequences of a war rather than the people of Ukraine. The focus seemed to be on, ‘I hope president Putin will stay on track with respect to climate change rather than stop.’

Listen, I just talked to normal folks on the street in Oklahoma. They're frustrated about the price of gas, No matter how small their car is or how big their truck is, they're ticked at the high price of gasoline. They've been upset for a while.

It's not just based on Ukraine. The price of gasoline just in the past 13 months has gone up over a dollar a gallon. That wasn't because of Russia and Ukraine. That was directly because of policies that are in the Biden Administration. Now it's accelerating even more. We need to find a way to be able to create greater energy security for the United States of America and that does involve actually producing more oil and gas. I would say that the Biden Administration and I disagree on this, but the little known fact is we don't disagree on this.

I do agree with the Biden Administration because if you look at the Biden Administration's official numbers that they actually put out from the energy information, when they put out their official numbers and they have to estimate how much oil and gas we'll use globally, their official estimate from the Biden Administration is between now and 2050, we will continue to need progressively more and more natural gas and petroleum products. By the way, also more coal in their estimates as well.

But where I differ from the Biden Administration, they do acknowledge privately the facts and lay the data out and say into other energy solutions by raising the price of oil and gas, which directly punishes consumers. And to be able to meet American climate goals, to say we're going to meet our American climate goals, we need to push production out to other countries and have them produce the oil and gas and send it to us so that we can show a good score for our climate while we still actually need to be able to purchase that oil from someone else.

Let's admit the obvious. We need all kinds of energy. And in the next 30 years, according to even the Biden Administration, we're going to need more gas, natural gas, more petroleum, more oil, and more coal worldwide. We're also going to need all kinds of other forms of energy. And like others I’m not opposed to every type of energy. Let's also make it as clean as we possibly can. But we need to have all forms of energy out there but we also need to admit the basic facts. We need oil and gas production. That doesn't mean we go get it from Venezuela.

Venezuela is a ruthless human rights violator. The leadership of Venezuela tortures its own people. We need to not go run to Venezuela to be able to get additional oil. We certainly don't need to run to Iran. No, I don't know if this Administration is running to Iran, but there's great rumors that are flying around currently about the final negotiations of an Iran nuclear deal. And we're waiting to see what the actual details are, whether that's going to include putting Iranian oil on the world market. I hope it does not.

I hope also they deal with the Iran nuclear deal, they actually deal with the weapons that Iran is producing to actually deliver a nuclear warhead. As they continue to be able to test more and more miles an hour sills with more and more range with a larger and larger warhead size. That's specifically designed for a nuclear warhead. We shouldn't pay attention to nuclear material and ignore the delivery system that they're actually expecting with.

I hope we pay attention to what's happening in Yemen and Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism that they're actually delivering the products of war to Yemen that's actually trying to destabilize all their neighbors around them.

I hope we don't lift sanctions on Hezbollah, on Hamas, on those individuals that were a part of actually murdering our marines in 1983 in Beirut. Those individuals that took away the property of Jewish citizens in Iran in 1979.

I hope all of those sanctions remain and those aren't up for bid and we're also not talking about buying Iranian oil. Solving our need for energy should not mean running to dictators around the world to go get it from them.

What's happening now? The Administration has done a release of 30 million barrels from the United States strategic petroleum reserve, which, by the way, is a day and a half of our oil usage. It does have some effect but it's a day and a half of our oil usage. It's not the long-term solution. Long term that is not even a bump in prices. Long term we have to have stable supply to meet the demand that we have in the country. This Administration is saying there's more oil production now in the United States than there was two years ago.

That's factually true.

During the time of COVID, production of oil plummeted in the United States so there's definitely more oil being produced now than there was during the peak of the time during COVID. But they've also taken on multiple different items from the very beginning of the administration to do what they could to be able to attack the production of American oil and gas. From day one with cutting off the Keystone Pipeline which, by the way, I have folks that catch me and say, ‘what difference would the Keystone Pipeline make?’ Well, let me give you an example. The keystone pipeline would deliver more oil to Houston, Texas, a day than what Russia does a day to the United States. We could literally replace Russian oil with what would have come through the Keystone Pipeline, but they killed it because they had environmental goals. And why should we worry about where we bile our oil from? Why should we buy it from the Canadians when we can buy it from the Russians was the theory.

Well, I think we know why. I'd much rather be buying from the Canadians today than buying from Putin’s Russia. That was done right off the bat. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission just two weeks ago, not ancient history, just two weeks ago announced a new restriction on natural gas pipelines and said they will make decisions on export facilities of natural gas and natural gas pipelines on a case-by-case basis based on their mitigation plans that they will present. No definition of what that would mean. It's basically if you're going to sink billions of dollars into doing a pipeline, we'll make our decision when you're in process.

What does that do? That discourages any company from actually doing a natural gas pipeline or certainly an export facility when right now Europe is screaming to us export more natural gas, FERC literally during the war announces they're going to make it harder to do natural gas exports. On Waters of the United States, destabilized a lot of investment because no one knew what was going to be the issue and what was not going to be the issue.

The Biden Administration is now saying they want to be able to reopen all that and create less certainty on investment. There was a pause on oil and gas lease sales. They said they were going to do a temporary moratorium. They started on January 20, 2021. It hasn't reopened yet.

There’s a temporary moratorium. Every five years there's a plan that has to be presented for offshore leases and how they're going to actually do offshore work. That plan is due in June of this year. As far as we can tell the Administration has taken up nothing on it, meaning offshore, we'll have no ability to be able to continue permitting because they're apparently not going to do the plan, which means you don't get access to those leases. Whether it's offshore, whether it's onshore, they're cutting off our supplies.

If that's not hard enough, the Administration nominated Sarah Raskin to be Vice Chair of Supervision for the Federal Reserve, who's made public statements she wants to use the Federal Reserve to be able to cut off capital to anyone who handles fossil fuels. It's basically if you can't get loans and you can't transport from here to there through a pipeline and you can't get additional leases offshore or onshore on federal lands, you've severely limited the locations that you can actually get energy long term.

Well, Biden's own energy information group says we're going to continue to need more oil and gas, more coal in the days ahead, the facts versus the reality of what they're actually putting into place.

Now again, electric vehicles don't offend me. For those folks that can afford an expensive electric vehicle, that's great. It's two percent of the vehicles on the road. And they're fine. I don't have a problem with it. But even when they talk about let's do what we can to double the number of electric vehicles that are on the road, great. We'll be at 4 percent of the vehicles on the road will be electric. The other 96 percent of the people in the country want to go to school, want to go to work, want to go to the grocery store, want to travel on vacation. And right now to do that, they're paying the price for it.

Let's have all forms of energy, let's have some realism in our conversation. Let's do what we can to be able to open up energy production.

What am I doing? I have a specific piece of legislation that deals with the permitting processes. It is because of the executive actions the President has put in place to be able to slow down production energy. It opens up the process so we can get back to producing more American energy.

I'm also promoting some very key things that the Administration can do right now. For instance, when energy companies are looking to do investment for additional drilling, they're asking the question how long is the war going to happen? When is all of this going to fall apart? No one knows that. The Administration can announce we're doing a moratorium on buying Russian oil for the next 12 months. Lay out a firm date on it and say 12 months from now we'll review it.

What difference does that make? It tells energy companies if you're going to invest and you're planning to come online in the next year, we're not going to cut your legs out from underneath you by the United States buying oil from Russia in a few months. This Administration could also today say we're not going to make any changes to any of the rules that are out there that will affect any of the process for developing American oil and gas for the next 12 months. Just a pause on making any changes on that. And this Administration could actually open up federal leasing, which by the way is not a radical idea. It's the law.

The law says that the Administration has to do it every quarter, and so far four quarters in a row the Biden Administration has ignored the law of the United States and just not done the leases. Saying they, ‘have plenty. I don't want to do more.’ Four quarters in a row they've violated the law.

So what could the Biden Administration do to be able to help American production? Follow the law. Put a pause on new restrictions. Declare how long they're going to actually hold off on Russian oil and how long that will be to give certainty for people in their investment. And pause all these new restrictions on capital. If the Biden Administration did that today, we would see an even greater increase in oil.

Listen, there's no incentive that needs to be put in place. I've had folks say what incentives do we need to put in place to increase American production? Oil is at $1.20 a barrel. There's no incentive that needs to be put in place. The problem is not the incentive. The problem are the restrictions on the other side. Without certainty and a constantly changing environment, few people want to be able to take the risk for it.

So if Secretary Granholm is serious when she's calling out oil companies to ramp up production, do the work behind the scenes to open the path for them so that they have that kind of certainty. 

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