House GOP aims to tie oil reserve sales to public land drilling – JP
Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., said she will offer an amendment to ban drilling off the coast of Florida.
The bill stands little chance of passing in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but the Biden administration still voiced its strong opposition to the bill. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm attended a White House press briefing on Monday to both defend Biden’s decision to tap the strategic reserve last year and reiterate her opposition to the bill, which she said would “impose unnecessary, unhelpful restrictions on when the SPR can be used to help provide supply.”
“It would require these arbitrary reports regarding energy production on federal lands before waiving any new restrictions,” Granholm said. “It would not offer any tangible benefits to the American people. Instead, it would interfere with our ability to be responsive to release oil during an international emergency, helping Putin’s war aims.”
The bill is one of the “ready-to-go” bills that Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., announced House Republicans would prioritize upon taking the majority. On Jan. 12, the House passed, by a vote of 331-97, a bill from Rodgers that would prohibit the sale of any petroleum products from the SPR to “any entity that is under the ownership, control, or influence of the Chinese Communist Party.” On Tuesday, Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member John Barrasso, R-Wyo., released companion legislation.
Barrasso also introduced a draft bill that would bar nonemergency drawdowns of the SPR unless the federal government offers plans to increase drilling on public lands, albeit without the same percentage requirements.