As the nation grapples with higher energy prices, the Biden administration has consistently said its policies are not to blame. White House officials have pointed at oil companies, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and independent gas stations as the possible culprits that have led to these higher prices.
In its defense, Biden administration officials have often insisted the federal government has issued permits for oil and gas drilling rights on federal land, and it was the oil companies choosing not to capitalize on those opportunities.
However, U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, the House Republican Policy Committee chairman, argues the Biden White House is being "disingenuous" with those statements.
During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show" on Thursday, Palmer acknowledged the issuances of leases but explained they came with onerous requirements.
"They issue a lease from one agency, then they impose regulations and other blocking maneuvers with other agencies," Palmer said. "Again, this is very disingenuous. They know exactly what they're doing. They say, 'Well, we've issued all these permits.' But then you've got another agency that is blocking them. And then, when you add to that the [Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)] requirements that they're imposing ... on investors, who will refuse to make loans to these companies -- people don't understand. You don't just go out and knock a hole in the ground and start pumping oil. They've got $10-12 million in stranded costs before they even pump a drop of oil out of the ground. So, it is enormously expensive to open up new wells.
"And when you have a situation when you have no ideas whether or not you'll be able to get the funding you need for this because of these new policies the Biden administration is imposing on people, you're not going to get that investment in infrastructure that we need to become energy independent. When you add to that, and this is something nobody talks about, Jeff – you've got college students who would have gone into fields that will lead them to long-term careers in the fossil fuel industry. They're not going there because they're looking down the road, and in 10-15 years, I'll have my degree, but I might not have a place to work, at least not in the United States, because of all of this."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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