Should Congress increase oil and gas production on federal lands?

This bill has Passed the House of Representatives
Bill Summary

The bill proposes to increase the production of oil and gas on federally leased lands and seeks to amend an existing section of energy legislation. Secretaries will be prevented from reducing the amount of petroleum in reserves unless they have a plan to compensate for the petroleum lost with increased oil and gas production. Sponsor: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Republican, Oregon, District 5) View full bill text ➔

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Opponents say

 "McCarthy and his MAGA majority are making it clear right out of the gate – they’d rather play politics than provide much-needed relief for American consumers. This bill hamstrings the executive branch, taking away a critical tool in combating rampant price gouging at the pump while making it easier to give our public lands away to the very companies responsible for artificially high prices,” said Jordan Schreiber, Director of Energy and Environment at Accountable. U.S. “Instead of holding accountable Big Oil C.E.O.s for causing last year’s record-setting gas prices, the new majority is hellbent on making political statements as American families suffer." Source: Big Horn Radio Network

 

  "The Energy Department has serious concerns about House legislation that would tie Strategic Petroleum Reserve releases to increased drilling on federal lands and waters, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm wrote to House lawmakers Wednesday. ‘This bill would significantly weaken this critical energy security tool, resulting in more oil supply shortages in times of crisis and higher gasoline prices for Americans," Granholm wrote to leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee." Source: Bloomberg Law


Proponents say

  "The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created by Congress to respond to oil supply disruptions, such as natural disasters. Sadly, President Biden has used the SPR as his own personal piggy bank and tapped into our emergency reserves to try and bail out his administration’s extreme climate agenda and lower gas prices. As a result the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is now at its lowest level since 1983. Releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not a long term solution to help hardworking families devastated by President Biden’s war on American energy. If Democrats were serious about lowering gas prices for American families, they would abandon their radical far-left policies that have led to the cancelation of critical pipelines and endless permitting delays and encourage oil and gas development and production on U.S. soil. House Republicans have a bill that will protect the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and strengthen our nation’s energy security. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ legislation, H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act, would require the Department of Energy to stop their abuse of the SPR and to develop a plan to increase oil and gas production on federal lands that offsets any additional drawdowns." Source: Steve Scalise (Republican, Louisiana, District #1) 


  "In response to Granholm's letter, Rodgers told Reuters that the DOE had depleted much of the SPR's reserve "with no real plan to refill it." Indeed, the SPR achieved its peak volume of 727 million barrels in December 2009, and for much of its history, it contained 450 million barrels or more. But currently, the reserve amount sits at around 370 million barrels, its lowest level in nearly four decades. That may sound like a dire situation, but at the same time, commercial oil producers hold 448 million gallons of crude oil in inventory. And like any government program, the SPR is also a bad deal for taxpayers. In December, the DOE announced that it would begin repurchasing oil to replenish the reserve, bragging that the price per barrel was now lower than when it was sold. But as Alan Reynolds, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, noted in 2022, the SPR historically tends to buy oil when prices are high and sell when prices are low. For example, the DOE continued acquiring oil for the SPR even as the price of crude more than doubled between 2007 and 2008. Clearly, the government has no business managing purchases and sales. Not to mention, it holds less in oil reserves than the amount held by private companies, who are sitting on millions of gallons. House Republicans should go one step further and get rid of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve altogether." Source: Reason