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U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources

11/26/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/26/2021 11:21

Chair Grijalva: New Federal Fossil Fuel Leasing Report Shows Why Admin Must Move Forward With Rulemakings While Congress Advances Reform Bills

11.26.21

Chair Grijalva: New Federal Fossil Fuel Leasing Report Shows Why Admin Must Move Forward With Rulemakings While Congress Advances Reform Bills

Tucson, Ariz. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said today that the newly released Biden administration report on updating the federal oil and gas leasing program shows the need for the administration to initiate rulemakings as soon as possible to reduce public subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, increase royalties for the public and increase public transparency in the leasing process. Grijalva said the report shows Congress must pass leasing reform bills to make necessary changes as permanent as possible and to redirect federal dollars to better purposes than subsidizing oil and gas.

"The administration needs to manage public lands and waters consistent with its climate commitments, and today's report does not offer a plan to do that. What it does offer is a set of important and long overdue reforms to the federal fossil fuel leasing program, which until now has been a public subsidy for oil and gas drilling and extraction. We need new industry financial requirements and greater public transparency around leasing, and the administration should start making these welcome changes as soon as possible. Congress needs to end wasteful subsidies and advance leasing reform bills while that's happening because every American sees climate change all around them, and we all know that impermanent policy changes at the margins won't reduce emissions enough to protect our quality of life."

Grijalva noted that emissions from public lands and waters make up about a quarter of U.S. carbon output each year, and federal policy needs to focus on bringing that number down until climate change no longer threatens our public health and safety. He pointed out that the Natural Resources Committee has already passed a collection of bills to reduce budgetary subsidies that are giveaways and to reform federal oil and gas leasing and development, including:

  • HR. 1492, Methane Waste Prevention Act (Rep. Diana DeGette)
  • H.R. 1503, Restoring Community Input and Public Protections in Oil and Gas Leasing Act (Rep. Mike Levin)
  • H.R. 1505, Bonding Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act (Rep. Alan Lowenthal)
  • H.R. 1506, Transparency in Energy Production Act (Rep. Alan Lowenthal)
  • H.R. 1517, Ending Taxpayer Welfare for Oil and Gas Companies Act (Rep. Katie Porter)
  • H.R. 2415, Orphaned Well Cleanup and Jobs Act (Rep. Leger Fernandez)

Today's report "encourages Congress to act on pending legislation to provide fundamental reforms to the onshore and offshore oil and gas programs."

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