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Republicans unleash effort forcing Biden admin to hold oil and gas lease sales

First appearance on Fox: A group of Senate Republicans led by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced a bill Friday that would require the federal government to sell regular oil and gas leases to strengthen America's energy security.

The so-called American Made Energy Assistance Act requires the Department of the Interior (DOI) to convene energy conferences at least four times a year. Onshore oil and gas lease sales Sales in the top seven producing states, in addition to at least two offshore lease sales per year in both the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. Daines said the bill would reverse administration policies that led to a decline in fossil fuel lease sales on public lands and waters.

“Now more than ever, energy security is national security,” Daines said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital. “As President Biden continues to push misguided and unrealistic environmental policies against the American people, I will continue to push for policies that strengthen American-made energy.”

In addition to forcing the government to resume traditional energy leasing, the Made in America Energy Act requires the DOI to create priority areas for wind, solar, and geothermal energy on public lands. It will be done.

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Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 24, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Mississippi, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho), and John Hoeven. Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Idaho), Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) announced Friday that they are co-sponsors of the bill. participated in this initiative. The seven states listed as having the highest land production under this law are Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Alaska. It is.

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“The Biden administration's first 19 months in office saw the lowest number of acres leased for oil and gas since World War II. Since taking office, BLM has “It's concerning that we've only had one lease sale in Montana.” Ryan Zinke and Matt Rosendale wrote in a June letter to the DOI.

“As Americans continue to face rising energy costs and persistent inflation despite Congress’ lease sales mandate and a federal court reversing the Biden administration’s lease moratorium, BLM announced in June that “We are not offering any parcels in Montana for the scheduled competitive lease sale,” they continued. He added that it was “imperative” for government agencies to prioritize domestic energy production.

Shortly after taking office in January 2021, President Biden issued a moratorium on new oil and gas leases, following a campaign promise that is part of a climate-focused agenda. However, in June 2021, a federal court invalidated the moratorium after the administration was sued by a group of state attorneys general. Permanently abolished in August 2022.

President Biden (left) issued a moratorium on new oil and gas leases shortly after taking office. But Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (left) was forced to reinstate the lease after a court revoked the moratorium. (Getty Images)

Following the court ruling, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced that the agency would move forward with fossil fuel leasing again. DOI then amended the federal oil and gas lease program in April 2022 and ultimately conducted the administration's first onshore lease sale several months later. Then the agency sued by environmental groups To put the sale on hold in an ongoing case.

But the administration has pushed to cut the oil and gas leasing program, despite the legal requirement to conduct quarterly lease sales. DOI was sued for energy industry association This is because, although the Western Energy Alliance led the sale and held the sale in 2022, it did not hold the sale on a regular basis in accordance with the Mineral Lease Act.

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“Clear legal obligations from Congress, such as the Mineral Lease Act's simple requirement that the Department of the Interior conduct quarterly lease sales, have been ignored by the Biden administration,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance. It's a shame,” he said. she said Friday, supporting Daines' bill.

“The fact that this bill is necessary shows how President Biden has no qualms about breaking the law. Congress doesn't need to keep making the same laws, but what Sen. Daines is doing with this bill. We certainly appreciate that,” she continued. .

The American Petroleum Institute and the Montana Petroleum Institute also supported the bill.

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