Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and a group of GOP senators sent a letter to the Biden administration’s secretary of commerce to demand an end to permit delays that they say are hampering American energy production.
The letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo called for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to quickly issue the necessary permits to bring additional production online from existing offshore federal oil and gas leases.
“While the Biden Administration and Members of Congress fault the domestic oil and gas industry for sitting idle on over 9,000 drilling permits and millions of acres in ‘inactive leases’, NMFS’s permitting delays represent one example of the Administration’s de facto ban on new drilling – impeding domestic oil and gas investment, exploration, and production,” the senators wrote.
The letter noted that the delays are largely caused by “three administration-made and admitted mistakes” due to miscalculations regarding the number of endangered species in the Gulf of Mexico in a 2021 Final Rule.
“It is unacceptable that agency miscalculations have restricted access to safe, secure, and reliable domestic oil and gas production through substantial, unnecessary, and arbitrary permitting delays,” the senators added.
Cruz also took to Twitter to express his concerns regarding the Biden administration’s delays.
“Under President Biden, America has seen record high gas prices,” he wrote. “I and 19 other senators signed a letter demanding that the Secretary of Commerce stop delaying permits for existing oil and gas leases.”
Under President Biden, America has seen record high gas prices.
I and 19 other senators signed a letter demanding that the Secretary of Commerce stop delaying permits for existing oil and gas leases.
⬇️READ MORE HERE⬇️
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) May 18, 2022
In a recent op-ed published in the Dallas Morning News, Cruz noted that gas prices were rising before Russia invaded Ukraine due to the Biden administration’s policies.
“A year ago, Russian hackers breached the network of the biggest pipeline in the country and demanded a ransom to unlock the system. Within 90 minutes, the pipeline was shut down for the first time in 57 years, and the transport of 2.5 million barrels of fuel a day, about 45% of the Eastern Seaboard’s supply, ground to a halt,” Cruz wrote.
“The Colonial Pipeline crisis should have been a wake-up call for Democrats, from the Northeast governors who won’t allow pipelines to deliver fuel from neighboring states to President Joe Biden, whose administration has made it exceedingly difficult for energy producers to return to pre-COVID-19 production numbers,” he added.
Cruz, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, also addressed high gas prices last month during the committee’s meeting.
“Over the past 15 months, we’ve seen inflation grow higher than any time in the last 40 years. Perhaps the most painful driver of inflation has been the skyrocketing cost of gasoline at the pump,” Cruz told the committee.
“When Joe Biden took the oath of office, the average retail price of gasoline was $2.38 a gallon. Today, it is $4.23 a gallon. In some parts of the country, the price has crossed $6.90 a gallon. This was not an accident. It was not an unintended side effect. Nor was it principally the result of the war in Ukraine. This was the result of the Green New Deal zealots in the Biden administration,” he argued.