GOP Lawmakers Criticize Biden Admin’s Price Hike On Public Oil & Gas Drilling Leases

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GOP politicians have recently criticized the Biden administration for raising royalty rates on oil and gas leases on federal lands. The long-awaited report was issued by the Department of the Interior. It was President Biden’s order when he stopped leasing federal land to oil and gas companies in response to climate change concerns.

Rep. Matt Rosendale tweeted that amid surging oil prices, the Biden Admin proposes to increase the cost of production even further. He wrote that the administration was exacerbating the problem at American families’ expense in order to advance their far-left agenda.

Rep. Ted Cruz also slammed the order in a tweet and wrote that at a moment when supply chains are falling, inflation is skyrocketing. Greg Murphy said that the move places the U.S. at a grave security risk.

The report recommended that royalty rates be increased for public land leases, although the agency acknowledged that they have not been raised in over 100 years. It did not recommend their end as environmental activists demanded.

Interior released a press release stating that the report identified significant flaws in the oil and gas leasing program. It called for significant reforms to ensure programs provide a fair return for taxpayers, discourage speculation and hold operators accountable for remediation. 

Secretary Deb Haaland stated that the nation is facing a severe climate crisis, which has a direct impact on every citizen. The Department is responsible for managing public lands, waters, and forests, which includes providing fair returns to taxpayers and mitigating climate change. It must also pursue environmental justice.

The Department wants to see an increase in bonding rates for companies involved in these contracts. They argued that they have not been increased in 50 years. Climate change activists are furious at the report and say the recommendations don’t go far enough. They also criticized Biden for failing to keep his campaign promise to end federal oil and gas leases.

After President Biden’s announcement to lower oil prices and gasoline prices for Americans, the rate for oil and gas leases increased. This move was also criticized by some GOP politicians who said it made the U.S. more dependent upon foreign oil. The U.S. is moving away from its oil production under Biden’s administration’s efforts against climate change.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said that the decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was made on top of his earlier orders to cancel construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline and to waive sanctions on Russia’s Pipeline. 

The Labor Department reported that the October consumer price index rose 6.2% since Oct. 2017 and was the largest annual increase since November 1990.