DENVER – Since President Biden banned leasing on public lands in January, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and other officials have repeatedly promised an interim report of the federal oil and natural gas program in “early summer” and “very soon.” Yet today marks the first day of autumn and there is no plan in sight. Western Energy Alliance released the following comment in response to the Interior Department’s continual delay:
“All summer we heard that the report on the ‘comprehensive review’ of the federal oil and natural gas would be out any day,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “There’s been radio silence for several weeks now and the Interior Department still doesn’t have a plan. It was reported on June 17th the report was sent to the White House. (E&E News) More than a month later, Interior Secretary Haaland said her agency was still working on it. Yet another month later and the Interior Department still has made no progress and therefore, the leasing ban has been in vain.
“Meanwhile, Americans are watching prices at the pump reach record levels and are bracing for costly winter heating bills. Energy prices are high in large part due to the very policies of this administration, yet our president is lobbying Russia and OPEC to boost production while hindering American production. He’d rather import energy from countries with weak environmental regulations than enable American companies to increase production and help bring down prices.”
In the spring, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and other officials stated the interim report would be completed in “early summer.” As summer wore on, department officials said the report would come “soon,” including yesterday in a Senate hearing. The following promises continue to ring hollow (emphasis added):
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