Exposing Biden's War on American Offshore Energy Production
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on the Biden administration's numerous actions stifling offshore energy development, most recently with the release of the worst leasing plan in history regarding the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) released the following statement in response:
"Thanks to the Biden Administration’s all-out war on American energy, millions of families across the country are struggling to fill up their gas tanks and make ends meet. Rather than heeding the call to unleash our vast energy potential, the Biden Administration’s Department of the Interior recently released a 5-year plan that calls for the fewest oil and gas leases in history. This significant reduction in new leases will not only further increase costs to consumers, but it will also lead to job losses across the United States and cause further reliance on adversarial nations with lower environmental standards. As the Chairman of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, I know that energy independence is the foundation of a healthy economy and secure nation. I am grateful to the witnesses who testified about the serious toll that this Administration’s ‘anywhere but America, any worker but American’ energy policies have had on our economy and national security, and I will continue fight back in Congress by championing commonsense policies to empower American workers to meet our energy needs."
The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Final 2024-2029 five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program - released nearly two years late - significantly limits offshore oil and gas lease sales, proposing only three sales in the Gulf of Mexico planning area and zero sales in Alaska over the next five years. The dramatic reduction in leasing opportunities jeopardizes domestic employment, decreases resource supply and sends operators to foreign countries for more opportunity. Without increased lease sale opportunities, investment and development will stagnate, putting even future production at risk. This is the first time DOI has ever issued a delayed plan since the process was first initiated in 1980. Due to this misguided five-year plan, 2024 marks the first year since 1958 that no offshore lease sales will occur.
The Gulf of Mexico Region on the OCS accounts for nearly 15 percent of total U.S. oil production and it supports approximately 370,000 jobs. Its original reserves include 26.77 billion barrels of oil and 197.0 trillion cubic feet of gas from 1,325 oil and gas fields. Limiting lease sales in this region will have direct economic consequences, affecting job security for thousands of workers and diminishing state revenues derived from the offshore oil and gas industry, as reiterated by witnesses from Alabama and Texas state agencies.
The continuation of offshore leasing is of significant strategic importance for U.S. national security, national deficit reduction and a vital part of the economy of Gulf Coast states. As revenue declines due to arbitrary delays and fewer opportunities for operators to lease, states will be compelled to reassess their budgets and the future of crucial projects and programs previously underpinned by these funds.
The Biden administration also recently cancelled 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. 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 legislation to remove regulatory burdens and conduct oversight of the Biden administration's policies. Earlier this year, the committee also considered H.R. 5616, which would mandate 13 lease sales to be held over five years and helps reduce regulatory burdens and delays to American energy production caused by the Biden administration.To learn more, click here.
Sign up to receive news, updates and insights directly to your inbox.