House Republicans Rebuke Biden Administration Policy on Drilling Moratorium

|
Posted: Jan 26, 2021 4:30 PM
House Republicans Rebuke Biden Administration Policy on Drilling Moratorium

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

A group of House Republicans, led by GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, wrote to President Biden opposing a new policy directive that the lawmakers say acts as a “60-day moratorium on new mining, oil and gas leasing” on federal lands. The lawmakers warned the president of potential for job loss, a decrease in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other unintended consequences, while reminding Biden that he campaigned on unity and job creation.

“On the campaign trail, and in your inauguration speech, you spoke of unifying a fractured country that is reeling from the health and economic effects of COVID-19. In states like New Mexico and Pennsylvania, you have spoken directly to our fellow citizens and promised the economic opportunities tied to energy development would not be eliminated in your Administration,” the lawmakers wrote to President Biden. “This decision appears to be a first step toward a policy of banning mining and oil and gas development on federal lands and waters.”

 The group of House Republicans continued and laid out the l consequences of such “kneejerk” energy policy:

  • Near term loss of approximately one million Americans jobs;

  •  A decrease of U.S. Gross Domestic Product by $700 billion;

  •  Loss of one of the most significant sources of federal revenue during a time of record federal deficits;

  • Loss of a major source of revenue for conservation programs and states budgets;

  •  Net increase of crude imports by 2 million barrels per day, weakening U.S. energy and national security and increasing our trade deficit and energy dependence on foreign countries; and

  • Reduction in critical energy supplies for Americans to heat their homes and fuel their cars, as well as impacts to manufacturing feedstocks in the development of critical products.

During the presidential election, both Biden and Vice President Harris vowed that the new administration would not take steps toward banning fracking, but appear to be walking back that promise.