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Press Release

Committee Continues Investigating Onshore Leasing Actions, Despite Ongoing Silence from Biden Administration

  • EMR Subcommittee

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) led all committee Republicans in a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, once again asking for transparency on the administration’s actions on onshore oil and gas development. In part, the members wrote:

"We write regarding an inquiry we sent to the Department of the Interior (DOI) on January 12, 2022, for which we are still awaiting a response. The lack of transparency from DOI on this information request is completely unacceptable. The Department’s refusal to reply is especially egregious, given the impact that your policies have had on discouraging investment in, and restricting access to, energy production on federal lands and waters, even while Americans suffer from soaring energy costs and rampant inflation...

"The BLM [Bureau of Land Management] approved an average of 233 drilling permits per month in FY 2022. In contrast, DOI was approving nearly 400 drilling permits monthly in FY 2020 under then-President Donald Trump. As of January 31, 2023, a total of 5,075 APDs were still pending awaiting BLM approval. Approving APDs will increase near-term energy production, which will increase domestic energy supply and ultimately drive down energy prices for all Americans, a goal I am hopeful we all share.

"We realize you are following a false narrative from this administration that you are somehow saving the world from climate destruction by stonewalling US energy production. Because of your mismanagement of our federal lands and resources, you are doing more damage to the climate and our environment by creating market conditions that incentivize the world’s worst polluters to produce more and have that energy shipped across the globe rather than using domestic energy sources which could supply our needs while creating American jobs and economic growth. This is unacceptable and we are demanding that you follow the law and do your congressionally mandated job for the sake of the economy and the environment."

Read the full letter here.