Senators from 18 states are opposing president Joe Biden’s actions upon energy, and the so called “ban” of drilling activities on federal lands; with senator Cynthia Lummins, of Wyoming as spearhead, senators from Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia and more than a dozen states have introduced the Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2021.
POWER Act 2021 would prohibit the president or his secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy departments from banning energy or mineral leasing on federal lands or water, without approval from Congress.
According to a press release by senator Lummins, a version of the bill is also sponsored by Rep. Yvette Herrell, from New Mexico, and co-sponsored by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman.
As we have reported previously, upon his entry as the 46th United States president, Joe Biden took several actions upon the energy industry; including the revocation of the long delayed midstream project Keystone XL.
On Wednesday, president Biden signed a new lot of executive orders, in which pauses new oil and gas leases on federal lands, cuts fossil fuel subsidies among other actions, to pursue his climate change agenda and energy transition; at the same time, reversing many of former president Donald Trump actions.
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Senators vow to block Biden’s ban
At the White House ceremony, president Biden said: “In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. It’s time to act.” Nevertheless, such actions are facing a strong opposition from republican senators.
In fact, months before Biden became president, the state of Wyoming released a study concluding that such ban of oil and gas activity on federal lands would severely harm eight state’s finances. Now, senators are pushing the POWER law to stop Biden from ending such activity.
In this regard, senator Lummins said in a statement: “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.”
“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,” she concluded.
Senator John Barrasso, added: “President Biden’s ban on new oil, gas, and coal leases is illegal and it robs people in Wyoming of their livelihoods. I will fight it every step of the way. Energy production on public lands is a critical source of revenue for our public schools, roads and bridges, water projects, and other essential services. It creates good-paying jobs and is the economic lifeblood of Wyoming.”
To read full POWER Act 2021, click here.