It seems the Department of Interior's plan for issuing gas and oil leases might not actually include any issuance of leases.
In a display of both hubris and confusion reminding viewers that it’s unwise to “let slip the dogs of war” without first training the dogs or seeing if the beasts even are appropriate for the task, the woke-celebrated “Interior Secretary” Thursday seemed ill-prepared to be confronted with a memo when testifying to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
That would be a memo her own office released, evidently while she was testifying, and which Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) obtained, literally, while questioning her about Biden Administration blocks on oil and gas exploration.
In the midst of what is supposed to be a routine update to the Committee about the Interior Department plan for new energy exploration and exploitation leases, Sec Deb Haaland appeared stunned when Senator Manchin received a sheet of paper, and said:
Uh. If I may, real quick. Secretary Haaland, I don’t know… Did y’all just put out a statement? The US Department of Interior just put out a statement? And the statement basically says, ‘The proposed program is not a decision to issue specific leases or to authorize any drilling or development.’ This is from ya’lls office, so it looks like you want to shut everything down…did you know your office put this out?
Secretary Haaland appeared caught unawares, as if the dogs of Interior Department war on the US energy industry kinda-sorta got out before she had been able to get back to the bunker.
Confusedly, she replied:
I am sorry, and am sitting in this hearing and not….
Manchin was stunned, clearly, blown away.
“My God, somebody…” he said. “This shuts it down. This shows what your intent is.”
When another (unidentified) member of the committee asked for a copy, Manchin offered to be sure everyone received one, and he added:
Basically, it’s says, ‘Secretary Haaland provides updates on on—offshore leasing program during the Senate testimony. During testimony before the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland confirmed that, despite delays in implementation from the previous Administration, the Interior Department will release the proposed program -- the next step in the five-year, off-shore energy planning process – by June 30th, 2022, which is the expiration of the current program. A ‘proposed program’ is not a decision – is not a decision – to issue specific leases or to authorize any drilling or development.
Which inspires us to pause, and contemplate, first, why Soviet-style central-planning lingo has a place in what ought to be a free, competitive, consumer-driven, productive market for energy exploration and provision. Specifically, how is it possible that in the “land of the free” the American consumers and those wishing to offer them energy resources must answer to a “five-year, off-shore energy planning process” cobbled together by political forces?
And that’s just the start of the vast line of questions this inspires… If only the questions could be used to heat homes and fuel cars…
Manchin amplified for his colleagues:
They’re going to do the proposal, but it doesn’t guarantee they’re going to do any leasing, at all.
After Haaland attempted to explain by reiterating what we already know, “it’s the plan that’s coming out,” Manchin remained focused on the specific language of her office’s release:
You’re acknowledging the plan. You’ll have a plan by June 30th. But you went further to say, that doesn’t mean that you’re issuing any specific leases.
In other words, the plan for “issuing leases” might not actually include any issuance of leases.
Kind of like a bully claiming the power to divvy out the food in the cafeteria, and reminding everyone that this omnipotence allows him to create a “plan” for food handouts that allow HIM to hold onto every last morsel.
For his part, Manchin reminded Haaland:
This is history. We’ve never done that before – not issue leases. If you put a plan out, the plan has always been a long-term, five-year plan to lease.
But it likely would come as no shock to Manchin that the Biden Administration appears aggressively disinterested in leasing for more energy offshore, or onshore, or even allowing US oil companies to increase their refining capacity.
One of Biden’s first actions after taking office was to halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters — a move that results in higher energy costs for the most vulnerable consumers.
The administration canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and suspended oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and New Mexico (despite opposition from the Navajo Nation). It also resurrected the ‘Waters of the United States’ rule, which would increase barriers to energy projects.
And, as I noted in January for MRCTV:
That Biden (offshore) move resulted in 14 states taking legal action in March, last year, to fight for their autonomy, and a court ruling that, for now, has stopped the White House clampdown.
I also noted that, in November, Biden briefly ‘reopened’ oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, he subsequently STOPPED them AGAIN.
Meanwhile, the Biden regime’s mouthpiece for the past year-plus, Jen Psaki, has repeatedly targeted the oil and natural gas corporations as the culprits.
In a nation where its own rulebook, the US Constitution, only grants the feds power to control three forms of land -- those being Washington DC, military garrisons, and territories – it’s incumbent on us not only to question the slippery way the Interior Department is playing with the ability of oil and gas companies to gain access to these areas, but to call into question the existence of the department itself.
Senate hearings, five-year plans, government press releases, and ignorant statements from bureaucrats only serve to delay a change that is desperately needed:
The liberation of lands and waters currently held under unconstitutional federal control.
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