A group of Republican senators led by Sen. Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma is demanding answers from the Biden administration regarding the recent correction of unused fossil fuel permits, which were blamed on a “reporting discrepancy.”
The lawmakers, which also include Sens. Ted Cruz, Kevin Cramer, John Hoeven, James Lankford, Mike Braun, and James Risch, penned a letter to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Tracy Stone-Manning, demanding more information about the error.
According to the letter, the lawmakers noted that the false figure had been used by the White House to justify decreased oil and gas leasing.
The senators want the BLM to do everything it can to ensure the energy industry and the American public that this will not happen again.
The BLM quietly corrected the number of approved but unused applications for permits to drill from approximately 9,000 down to less than 6,700 in February.
A BLM spokesperson said at the time that the figure was updated “to account for a reporting discrepancy resulting from a transition to a new database in mid-2020.”
However, President Biden, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, former press secretary Jen Psaki, spokesperson John Kirby, and other White House officials repeatedly cited the figure over the last 12 months amid the global energy crisis and criticism over the administration’s approach to federal oil and gas leasing.
Senator Mullin said, “The Biden administration has been gas-lighting our domestic energy producers for the past two years. Now that the truth has come to light, Biden officials are quietly walking back their false statements hoping no one will take notice.
Our producers can’t do their jobs when they face roadblocks from this administration at every turn.
Global energy demands are increasing, and someone must rise to meet them. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be us.”