During a press conference on Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed the Biden administration for misleading Americans by arguing that oil companies are at fault for rising energy prices due to unused oil and gas leases.
“Their latest talking point is there’s all these wonderful permits that just the oil companies for whatever reason don’t want to drill upon,” Cruz said. “Now, I understand that the White House’s talking points are written by an 18-year-old intern who’s taking freshman socialism, but it would be good to have someone who has actually worked in the private sector and has some awareness of how energy is produced.”
“Energy producers will drill for oil and gas wherever it is profitable, wherever it is viable,” he continued. “Many of those permits are not being drilled because if you got a natural gas well that you’re trying to drill, you have to have a pipeline to carry the gas from the well to its end users and the Biden Administration is also freezing pipelines.”
On Monday, Fox News asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki why President Biden has refused to resume issuing new oil and gas leases on federal lands. Psaki responded by saying “there are 9,000 approved drilling permits that are not being used.”
However, representatives in the energy industry said that Psaki’s “accusation” was a “complete red herring.”
“That accusation is a complete red herring,” American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC) CEO Anne Bradbury told FOX Business. “It’s really a distraction from the fact that this administration has paused leasing on federal lands, something that we’re concerned about and something that we think needs to continue right away.”
Kevin O’Scannlain at the American Petroleum Institute (API) made similar comments.
“The argument about ‘unused’ leases is a red herring, a smokescreen for energy policies that have had a hamstringing effect on the world’s leading producer of natural gas and oil,” O’Scannlain said. “It suggests American producers have been motivated by a desire to manipulate the market during the current crisis in Europe. This is false. American oil and gas producers are able and willing to do their part to support American energy leadership, including providing energy that can help allies abroad.”
“Ultimately, energy policies affect the energy investment climate,” O’Scannlain continued. “Specifically, they impact the ability of producers – typically accountable to shareholders – to take the risks involved in spending billions of dollars to find and develop oil and gas. Mischaracterizing the way federal leases work does not help foster new investment and risk-taking.”
O’Scannlain also explained that “When a company acquires a lease, it makes a significant financial investment at the beginning of the lease in the form of a non-refundable bonus bid and pays additional rent until and unless it begins producing… Developing a lease takes years and substantial effort to determine whether the underlying geology holds commercial quantities of oil and/or gas. The lengthy process to develop them from a lease often is extended by administrative and legal challenges at every step along the way.”
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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off House Foreign Affairs Committee
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was voted off the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday. The action was expected, as Republican members of Congress had criticized Omar’s antisemetic and anti-American rhetoric.
After intense debating on the House floor, the resolution passed with a 218-211 vote. Democrats attempted to pull the race card, accusing Republican House members of racism for removing Omar from the committee.
Omar also accused House Republicans of racism, saying, “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa…Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”
“There is this idea that you are a suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or certain skin tone or a muslim.” Omar said during the heated debate. A fiery Alexandria Ocasia Cortez also chimed in shouting, “This is an attack on women of color!”
Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, from New York, said she had personally witnessed Omar spew anti-American rhetoric. Malliotakis said, “I have been in that committee room where, the representative, equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”
A four-page resolution was written for the justification of removing Omar from the house Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she posted on Twitter, “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”
Omar also commented on the September 11th attacks saying, “some people did something.” This type of comment is unacceptable for any representative who is sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lawmakers said.
In the resolution it states that members of this committee should all be held to an “equal standard of conduct due to the international sensitivities and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”
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