Update: Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced that this legislation will soon come to the House floor as H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Matt Rosendale’s Restore Onshore Energy Production Act was included in the Transparency, Accountability, Permitting, and Production (TAPP) of American Resources Act that passed out of the House Committee on Natural Resources today. Rosendale’s provision would require the Biden administration to immediately resume onshore oil and gas lease sales in compliance with the Mineral Leasing Act.
“The Biden Administration’s attack on domestic energy crippled our economy and national security. Resuming onshore oil and gas lease sales will not only lower the cost of energy for American families and businesses, but it will also allow us to compete with China and strengthen supply chains,” said Rep. Rosendale. “Restoring our nation’s energy dominance will require an all-of-the-above approach – the TAPP American Resources Act will spur the responsible development of domestic energy and minerals across the country.”
In January 2021, President Biden imposed a moratorium on federal onshore and offshore lease sales, which the courts subsequently ruled to be illegal. The Biden administration was forced to repeal such actions but still has not issued a single new lease sale to date. The current conflict in Eastern Europe and increased tensions with China highlight the consequences of relying on foreign adversaries for energy imports and exposes the need for the United States to return to energy independence.
“We strongly support the Restore Onshore Energy Act as we believe this will improve the oil and gas leasing of Federal Lands in Montana and surrounding states,” said Patrick Montalban, President and CEO of Montalban Oil and Gas Operations, Inc. in Cut Bank, Montana. “This legislation will enable small and large independent oil and gas companies to explore and develop the mineral oil and gas leases that are owned by the Citizens of Montana and the United States.”
Montalban Oil and Gas Operations, Inc. is the largest oil and natural gas operator on the Blackfeet Reservation, encompassing numerous Federal oil and gas leases.
“Western Energy Alliance strongly supports Congressman Rosendale’s leasing bill. In the first week, the Biden Administration banned leasing, and even after a judge overturned the ban, has held only one set of lease sales in over two years,” said Kathleen Sgamma, President of the Western Energy Alliance. “Apparently, the Mineral Leasing Act’s requirement to hold quarterly lease sales is not clear enough for an administration that wants “no federal oil,” to quote the president. The bill clarifies that indeed, Congress was serious when it mandated quarterly lease sales, and makes it administratively painful for the Interior Department to renege on that obligation. Currently, the Department finds it convenient and without cost to just cancel lease sales. By requiring make-up sales and accountability when the Department fails in its obligation, Congress is reasserting its mandates on an otherwise unaccountable bureaucracy.”
The Western Energy Alliance represents over 200 independent oil and gas producers engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West.