Bill to Block Biden Energy Ban Has Strong GOP Support
Nearly half the total of Senate Republicans have backed a bill by Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., that would make it difficult for President Joe Biden's administration to block energy or mineral leasing permits on federal lands.
Lummis announced the Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources Act of 2021 on Thursday. The bill was supported by 24 of Lummis' Republican colleagues.
The legislation would prohibit Biden or the secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy departments from blocking energy and mineral leasing on federal lands without approval from Congress.
"The Biden Ban would be nothing short of catastrophic for western states that are already reeling from the decline in energy usage brought on by the pandemic and continued volatility in energy markets," Lummis said in a statement. "It's a one-two punch that means disaster for energy jobs, families, and communities. Through the POWER Act, Congress would reiterate that federal lands should serve not the whims of a radical progressive minority, but the needs of all Americans."
Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., introduced the House version of the bill. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., co-sponsored the bill.
Biden announced last Thursday he was halting all oil and gas leases and drilling permits for 60 days. The move contradicted his campaign promise not to ban the practice, per Breitbart.
The president also has signed executive orders to cut oil, gas, and coal emissions, and double energy production from offshore wind turbines.
Lummis' legislation was supported by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Energy Alliance, the Western Energy Alliance, and the U.S. Oil and Gas Association support the legislation.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was among the Republicans who backed the bill.
"As America continues to recover from a global pandemic, our energy industry desperately needs the Biden administration's support, not its scorn," Cruz said in a statement. "We must work to prevent any administration from crippling our energy industry without approval from Congress.
"I am proud to support this legislation that will fight back against the Biden administration's radical environmental agenda and help our energy industry thrive by supporting hundreds of thousands of blue-collar jobs, keeping household energy costs low for American families, and maintaining our energy independence."
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