Sixty-three Republicans in the United States House of Representatives sent a strongly worded letter to President Joe Biden, demanding that he expand domestic oil and gas production.
The letter comes as Biden prepares to travel to the Middle East, where he will reportedly ask the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase their oil production in order to lower gas prices in the U.S.
House Republicans were not tacit in their criticism of neither the upcoming trip, nor its purpose, calling it a “confusing display of weakness” given that “the U.S. was producing more oil and natural gas than any country in the world” just a few years ago.
The group of lawmakers took aim at Biden, criticizing his administration for enacting policies that constrain domestic energy production, a move which, they say, empowers America’s enemies and crushes hardworking middle-class Americans.
They also expressed frustration over the administration’s indifference to policies that could lower energy prices within the U.S.
“To address rising costs, House Republicans have introduced many pieces of legislation that would increase our energy production and provide regulatory certainty that businesses need,” the letter states.
Their legislation would seek to reauthorize the Keystone XL Pipeline, prohibit cancellation of lease sales without congressional approval, and also require approval from congress to withdraw federal land from mineral development — effectively undoing actions the Biden administration has already taken to choke domestic energy production.
House Republicans also condemned the Biden administration for misrepresenting data and information related to U.S. energy production:
“You and other members of your administration have made a habit of repeating the falsehood that energy producers are exacerbating energy costs by ‘sitting on 9,000 unused permits.’ This notion willfully neglects the fact that most of these 9,000 permits are currently unusable because they cannot be developed until your administration approves other necessary permits and rights of way. This is inexcusable, as producers are waiting over 400 days for a federal permit to be approved, which has a direct impact on production.”
Last month, gas prices hit a record high averaging more than $5 per gallon across the entire nation. But, the Republican legislators told Biden higher energy costs do not have to be the new normal.
They urged Biden to travel to energy producing districts within the U.S. and meet with constituents who are most impacted by the administration’s energy policies.