Oklahoma Republican Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Tuesday to urge him to reverse his request for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase oil production and instead encourage American oil companies to do so.
The letter was joined by 22 other Republican senators.
“Since your first day in office, your Administration has pursued policies that have restricted and threatened American oil and gas development, which has had devastating consequences for American workers and consumers,” the senators wrote.
“It is astonishing that your Administration is now seeking assistance from an international oil cartel when America has sufficient domestic supply and reserves to increase output which would reduce gasoline prices,” the letter said.
The senators also blamed the seven-year high in gas prices on Biden’s policies.
“Last month, gasoline prices reached a seven year high and are forty-percent higher than they were on January 1, 2021,” they wrote. “It is no surprise how we got here. Your Administration’s domestic oil and gas development policies are hurting American consumers and workers, are contrary to an ‘America First’ energy agenda, and reinforce a reliance on foreign oil.”
It’s astonishing that Biden is seeking assistance from an international oil cartel when America is fully capable of oil independence.
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) August 19, 2021
“For example, you have rejoined America into the radical, job-killing Paris Climate Agreement, cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline and its associated 10,000 jobs, imposed an apparently indefinite pause on oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands and waters, including suspending drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and proposed increasing taxes on those engaged in oil and gas development,” the senators wrote.
They added, “These policies, in conjunction with runaway inflation, are increasing the price of gasoline and do not serve American interests. In fact, these policies threaten our energy and national security by making us more reliant on foreign nations for our energy needs.”
Lankford and the other senators argued, “We agree with your intent to reduce the cost of gas for hardworking Americans, but your domestic policy agenda has proven to have the opposite effect and continues to threaten American jobs and family budgets.
“We urge your Administration to revise its regulatory agenda and legislative priorities as it relates to domestic oil and gas development. The best and most effective way to reduce the cost of gasoline at the pump is to unleash clean, affordable, and reliable American energy.”
Lankford also shared his concern with Biden harming American oil dependence in a statement last week.
The senator, a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said, “A year ago, when the national average for gas prices was lower, and our government sent a strong signal to American producers that we wanted them to maintain our own energy independence. America relied only on our producers and American jobs for oil.
“Today, gas prices continue to rise, and President Biden has asked Russia and OPEC to increase their production.
“Why is the President of the United States reaching out to the President of Russia and the leadership of OPEC to ask for more oil production?
Why is the President of the United States reaching out to the President of Russia and the leadership of OPEC to ask for more oil production? Americans are absolutely capable of producing the oil needed to lower the cost at the pump. https://t.co/wxAenL9GnS
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) August 13, 2021
“Americans are absolutely capable of producing the oil needed to lower the cost at the pump,” Lankford said. “The President should return to energy-focused policies that promote American jobs, instead of relying on foreign jobs and foreign production for our energy.”
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