OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republican leaders of two key House committees have launched a probe into the Biden administration’s handling of fossil fuel leasing practices after a leaked “energy security” memo.
House Oversight Chairman James Comer and Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman informed senior Department of the Interior official Laura Daniel-Davis of a probe in a letter. The correspondence criticized the DOI’s oil and gas leasing delays and Daniel-Davis’ recent memo prioritizing climate considerations over energy security. Seventeen House Republicans joined in signing the letter.
“The Biden Administration has obstructed America’s energy producers in an effort to force a radical Green New Deal agenda on the American people,” Comer told Fox News in a statement. “The Democrats’ ongoing war against America’s oil and gas industry has only driven energy prices higher and families across the country are paying the price.”
“Instead of pushing the Administration’s climate agenda, the Department of the Interior should be prioritizing economic development and American energy security,” Comer noted further, according to the network’s report. “Congress must ensure DOI is fulfilling their responsibility to advance policies that unleash American energy production and strengthen an industry that provides good-paying job opportunities.”
Former Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Amanda Lefton wrote a memo in late November recommending that the Department of Interior charge energy companies a royalty rate of 18.75%, the highest allowable rate under the law, for a large oil and gas lease sale in Alaska.
However, she acknowledged in the memo that charging a lower rate would likely “offer greater energy security,” but would not correctly account for climate change.
Soon after the confidential memo was sent, Daniel-Davis publicly approved Lefton’s suggestion without referring to its impact on energy security.
In late December, the Department of the Interior conducted a lease sale for almost a million acres, which attracted a single bid valued at $63,983 for a 2,304-acre parcel.
“The memo and your actions in this matter illustrate the pressing need for oversight of DOI’s permitting review processes and the Biden Administration’s prioritization of its climate agenda above states’ revenue streams, economic development, and the energy security of all Americans,” the Republicans wrote in their letter to Daniel-Davis.
“The internal deliberations at BOEM to brazenly elevate President Biden’s radical eco-agenda ahead of common-sense policies call for greater congressional oversight of DOI and BOEM,” the GOP lawmakers added.
Last week, Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced Articles of Impeachment against President Biden.
“It is with the highest amount of solemnity that I announce my intention to introduce articles of impeachment today on the head of this America-last executive branch, that has been working since Jan. 20, 2021, to systematically destroy this country, the president of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden,” she said.
An increasingly large number of U.S. voters are also convinced that President Joe Biden is not the one who is making decisions on behalf of his administration, and that’s a problem for the country.
In the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, 55 percent said “others are making decisions for him behind the scenes,” while just 38 percent said the president is “really doing” his job.
Chief Pollster Mark Mitchell says he has consistently surveyed likely voters about President Biden’s leadership skills, and the latest results are the most negative so far, adding that Biden’s short working hours and infrequent public exposure as adding to the view.
“The number of voters thinking Biden is really doing the job of president has entirely collapsed, down six points from 44% just over two months ago. The ‘others are making decisions for him’ response is up seven points from 48% at the end of February. It looks like these presidential lids and pictures of notes from Biden’s staged appearances might be starting to add up,” he said.