ENOUGH! Fed-Up Democrat Slams Biden over Energy Crisis: “Frustration At All-Time High.”
West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin has seemingly had enough – calling out President Biden for failing to do anything to bring America’s energy crisis to an end.
Manchin spoke at a Senate Energy Committee hearing on the Department of the Interior’s budget request for fiscal year 2023 and said that his frustration with this administration was at an “all-time high.”
The senator laid into the Biden administration for failing to increase domestic oil, natural gas, and critical minerals production.
He also criticized the Interior Department’s decision to cancel several large oil leases, and imposing a set of restrictions and costs on new oil and gas leases that would disincentivize new oil and gas development altogether.
“We are holding this hearing during trying times,” Manchin began. “Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s weaponization of oil and gas, increasing energy and food prices worldwide, and the growing challenge of competition with China. Given the current global situation, it is essential for the United States to step up to the plate as the superpower of the world.”
“That includes the responsible development of our abundant energy and mineral resources. Unfortunately, even as we see Russia wage a war enabled by energy insecurity in Europe, this administration has made its opposition to domestic oil and gas production crystal clear – on and off Federal lands and waters,” he continued.
According to Manchin, the Biden administration is scheduled to resume lease sales in June after a long “pause,” but only a fraction of the available land and at a higher royalty rate, and only because of a court order.
“I’m sorry to say it has become crystal clear that the ‘pause’ is in fact a ‘ban,’” Manchin said, noting the recent cancellation of three large offshore oil leases.
Manchin then blasted the administration for pursuing a royalty increase for certain leases that he said “may disincentivize pursuing federal leases at all.” He also excoriated regulations and public statements that he said have a chilling effect on new investment.
“My frustration is at an all-time high that we are talking to OPEC, Iran, and Venezuela to increase oil output while we are at the same time blocking increased energy production at home,” he said.
“What does it say to producers here in the United States when we consider working with the Venezuelan government, which certainly doesn’t share our values, instead of supporting domestic or North American production? Is this really in our best interest?”
The Democrat senator also pointed out the fact that the United States is still relying much too heavily on China to supply critical minerals and not making a real effort to accelerate domestic mining and processing.
“The only way we will be able to guarantee our energy security, which will also allow us to develop the technology to meet our climate goals, is to rely on ourselves and our proven partners around the globe,” he said.
“Given my experience with the so-called leasing ‘pause,’ and the missed Energy Act deadlines, I must admit that I am skeptical that this administration will ultimately support the development of these types of critical mineral projects.”