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Press Release

Biden Administration Finalizes Worst Offshore Plan in History, Devastating American Jobs and Innovation

Today, the Department of Interior (DOI) released its final five-year offshore oil and gas leasing plan, a year and a half late and containing the fewest lease sales in the history of the program, dealing a huge blow to American energy production and national security. House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) released the following statement in response:

"The Biden administration’s plan to eliminate American energy production, American jobs, and American innovation is sickening. This is not an offshore oil and gas leasing plan. At its best it’s a slap in the face to families who are struggling to heat their homes and put gas in their car. At its worst, it’s a threat to our national security. For an administration that professes to value community input, overlooking the expressed preferences of multiple states in comment periods and Congressional testimony would say differently, especially in the case of Alaska. At a time when energy security is a top concern worldwide, restricting access to both of America's primary offshore energy sources should never have been on the table. Energy prices will only continue to rise, and that is self-imposed by this administration. This administration does not align itself with the practical realities of supply and demand, nor does it consider the broader economic consequences, including increases in energy costs for consumers. They're also boasting about a blatant disregard for laws passed by Congress, and I hope the legal system will hold them accountable for this disaster. This is the worst oil and gas leasing plan in history by far. I will fight this decision in Congress. House Republicans support clean, affordable, reliable, and exportable domestic energy production."


The DOI oversees the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and is responsible for issuing regular five-year plans for offshore oil and natural gas leasing. This plan is nearly two years late and has put American jobs and the economy at risk. Without a timely plan, investment and development will stagnate, jeopardizing future production. This is the first time DOI has issued a delayed plan since the process was first initiated in 1980.

The Biden administration has not conducted any new lease sales, apart from those required under the Inflation Reduction Act, and has also pulled down several legally mandated lease sales. This inaction has reduced investment, threatened future supply and disadvantaged domestic producers. 

The delay in completing the five-year program and holding lease sales has left Congress, industry and taxpayers in the dark and created a void which OPEC+ nations have been more than happy to fill. The House Committee on Natural Resources is committed to holding agencies accountable when they fail to meet basic deadlines and jeopardize our national and energy security. 

The Biden administration also recently took action to cancel previously issued leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge while simultaneously locking up millions of acres in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska in a historically devastating decision for Alaskans and all Americans. This continued war on domestic energy production has stifled job growth and placed our energy security squarely in the hands of foreign nations. 

Over the course of the 118th Congress, the House Committee on Natural Resources has worked to support American energy independence through the passage of H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act. The committee has also held field hearings and advanced other pieces of legislation to remove regulatory burdens and conduct oversight of the Biden administration's policies. Earlier this year, the committee also considered the BRIDGE Production Act which would mandate four offshore oil and gas sales to be held in 2024 and 2025 and helps reduce regulatory burdens and delays to American energy production caused by the Biden administration.