Following the leak of a “energy security” memo, the Republican leaders of two key House committees have launched an investigation into the Biden administration’s management of fossil fuel leasing practices.
In a letter, House Oversight Chairman James Comer of Kentucky and House Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas informed Interior Department official Laura Daniel-Davis of an investigation. The correspondence criticized the DOI’s delays in issuing oil and gas leases, as well as Daniel-Davis’ recent memorandum placing climate concerns above energy security.
The letter was also sponsored by the chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs, Pat Fallon (R-Texas), and the chairman of the Natural Resources Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Paul Gosar (R-Arizona). Seventeen additional House Republicans signed the letter.
“The Biden Administration has obstructed America’s energy producers in an effort to force a radical Green New Deal agenda on the American people,” Comer told Fox News in a statement. “The Democrats’ ongoing war against America’s oil and gas industry has only driven energy prices higher and families across the country are paying the price.”
“Instead of pushing the Administration’s climate agenda, the Department of the Interior should be prioritizing economic development and American energy security,” Comer noted further, according to the network’s report. “Congress must ensure DOI is fulfilling their responsibility to advance policies that unleash American energy production and strengthen an industry that provides good-paying job opportunities.”
Amanda Lefton, the former director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), wrote a memo in late November recommending that the Department of the Interior charge energy companies the maximum legal royalty rate of 18.75% for a large oil and gas lease sale in Alaska.
However, she acknowledged in the memo that a reduced rate would likely “offer greater energy security,” but would not accurately account for climate change.
Soon after the confidential memo was sent, Daniel-Davis publicly endorsed Lefton’s proposal without mentioning its effect on energy security.
The Department of the Interior held a lease sale for nearly one million acres at the end of December, attracting a solitary bid of $63,983 for a 2,304-acre parcel.
“The memo and your actions in this matter illustrate the pressing need for oversight of DOI’s permitting review processes and the Biden Administration’s prioritization of its climate agenda above states’ revenue streams, economic development, and the energy security of all Americans,” the Republicans wrote in their letter to Daniel-Davis.
“The internal deliberations at BOEM to brazenly elevate President Biden’s radical eco-agenda ahead of common-sense policies call for greater congressional oversight of DOI and BOEM,” the GOP lawmakers added.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, ultimately rejected Daniel-Davis’ nomination as assistant secretary for land and minerals administration at the Department of the Interior. She continues to serve as the agency’s principal deputy secretary for land and mineral management.
“The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the U.S. Department of the Interior continues to fail in their basic responsibilities and instead are actively elevating President Biden’s radical eco-agenda above the best interests of the American people,” Westerman told Fox News.
“These backroom dealings contribute to Biden’s ongoing energy crisis, threaten America’s national security, discourage future investment, and cause lasting damage to the economy,” he added. “Their work to actively advance politics over America’s energy needs are clear evidence of the dire need for congressional oversight.”
President Biden is also involved in a second scandal.
A federal judge wants to get to the bottom of what kind of interactions the federal government has had with big tech companies and has ordered that it show its communications.
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