Lummis Reintroduces Legislation Defending American Energy and Mining Industries

February 9, 2023

Lummis reintroduces POWER Act to prevent Biden ban on energy leasing on federal lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chair of the Senate Western Caucus Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) along with 16 of her colleagues reintroduced the Protecting Our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act to prohibit the president or his secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture or Energy from blocking energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters without Congressional approval.

“Wyoming can power the nation, and the U.S. can power the world. President Biden’s executive orders and administrative actions taking aim at energy and mineral development on public lands hurt our economy, communities across the west and the environment by forcing our nation to rely on countries with lower environmental standards for importing energy,” said Sen. Lummis. “We have borne witness to the negative impacts of these policies through record high gas prices and increased prices on goods and services we rely on every day. Not to mention, these efforts are illegal. It is time for Congress to take back its authority and to unleash American energy and mineral potential.”

“Since day one, President Biden has been clear about his plan to end the use of coal, oil, and natural gas,”said Sen. Barrasso. “These affordable and available sources of energy fuel our way of life in Wyoming and across the West. Energy production on public lands is a critical source of revenue for our public schools, roads and bridges, water projects, and other essential services. The POWER Act will stop the president from pursuing divisive and disastrous policies that would destroy access to these reliable resources. It will keep energy workers in their jobs and keep the lights on at home.”

“President Biden is hobbling American energy when our country and the world needs it most. This bill will put a stop to it,” said Sen. Braun.

“Since Day One, the Biden administration has put a target on oil and gas industries, and continuously sidestepped Congress and enacted Executive Orders that kill American jobs. The administration has even enacted policies that prevent lithium mines from moving forward – a necessary component to advancing their electric vehicle agenda without reliance on critical minerals form China. Actions like these have further depleted our energy sectors, moving our country farther away from energy independence and threaten our national security. This legislation creates a needed check on the Executive Branch, and makes certain that decisions are subject to debate in Congress and not rashly signed into action,” Sen. Capito said.

“President Biden’s war on America’s energy producers has raised energy costs for all Americans, eliminated opportunities for good-paying American jobs, and cut potential state and local budgets. These endless pauses and arbitrary withdrawals make us more reliant on countries like China and Saudi Arabia,” said Sen. Cramer. “The POWER Act gives Congress more authority and oversight when the Executive Branch wants to upend mineral policy on federal lands within our states.”

“In a time of a growing domestic energy crisis, it is imperative we protect mineral and energy leasing on federal lands. Idaho’s vast natural and mineral resources provide high-paying, quality jobs across the state and help foster a more secure supply chain as America strives for stronger energy and technology independence,” said Sen. Crapo.
“President Biden’s war on fossil fuels decimates America’s energy independence,” said Sen. Johnson.“Suspending oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters continues this attack by crushing energy producers and sacrificing American jobs. I’m proud to support this commonsense legislation to put an end to the President’s executive overreach.”

“Energy security is national security, but one of President Biden’s first moves in office was to issue a moratorium on the leasing of taxpayer-owned oil, gas and coal resources,” said Sen. Hoeven. “The Biden administration’s Green New Deal agenda has not only driven up costs for consumers, but it has undermined our nation’s ability to be energy independent. This legislation is part of our broader efforts to push back on this harmful approach and ensure America can develop the energy and critical mineral resources we need here at home.”

“Kansas recorded its highest ever price for gasoline last June, topping off at $4.67 per gallon. President Biden’s radical energy policies, focused solely on eliminating fossil fuels, are driving up prices for our state and making it harder to afford basic necessities,” said Sen. Marshall. “The last thing we need is more harmful executive actions that will further hamper our ability to produce energy and develop minerals domestically.”

“The President took aim at domestic energy production only hours after swearing the oath of office, and to put more salt in the wound, he sold off America’s oil reserves to pay for his self-made crisis. His actions have threatened our national security, killed high-paying jobs, and caused energy prices to skyrocket. We have vast natural resources here at home, and we need to use them. The POWER Act will prohibit the executive branch from ever unilaterally stifling American energy production again,” said Sen. Risch.

Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Katie Britt (R-AL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Hoeven (R-SD), Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jim Risch (R-ID), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) cosponsored the legislation. 

Congresswoman Harriet Hageman introduced the House companion to the legislation.