DENVER -- Following President Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law today, Western Energy Alliance calls on Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to immediately schedule quarterly oil and natural gas lease sales. IRA mandates that Interior hold regular, substantial oil and natural gas lease sales prior to approving rights of way for federal wind or solar energy development.
“Congress has once again sent a resounding message to Interior about the importance of federal oil and natural gas. By supporting IRA, every Democrat in Congress and the president of the United States agreed that oil and natural gas is critical to our economic and national security. By connecting federal leasing directly to renewable energy permitting, lawmakers recognize the value of increasing American production to bring down energy inflation and enhance national security,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “Leasing federal lands for development is the law under IRA, the Mineral Leasing Act, and other laws. It’s now time for the Interior Department to move forward swiftly with oil and natural gas leasing.”
“We continue to oppose many other provisions in IRA. The law is a good example of the problems that arise when legislation is worked out behind closed doors. There are multiple technical problems that would have gotten addressed had the bill gone through the normal committee process,” Sgamma added. “For example, the language on the methane tax is confusing and will impact small businesses. The convoluted language relies on companies following both Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that have not yet been proposed and state implementation plans that will take years to get approved. In the meantime, increased taxes and fees throughout IRA will raise costs for consumers at the pump and as they heat their homes this winter.”
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