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Energy group: Biden policies sow seeds for ‘new energy crisis’

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(The Center Square) – Federal policies must focus on strengthening American energy independence, the American Petroleum Institute emphasized  Wednesday at its annual State of the American Energy conference.

API CEO Mike Sommers and Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs Dustin Meyer blasted the Biden administration over what they called its “short-sighted” energy policies.

Somers and Meyer lamented the Biden administration’s increased restrictions on oil drilling and leasing on American land, arguing that the administration needs to “reverse course” immediately.

America reached “record production” in oil drilling and off-shore leasing despite the Biden administration’s increased restrictions, the API duo said. The uptick in oil production can be attributed to contracts signed by previous administrations, according to API.

The Biden administration blocked oil-drilling permits on over a half-million acres of American land, and it leased the lowest amount of federal acreage in history, actions they said are “sowing seeds for the next energy crisis.”

API argues the Biden administration’s “permitting roadblocks” on oil and gas leasing on federal lands have harmed America’s ability to insulate itself from potential “price shocks” that potentially could arise from foreign crises such as the current wars in the Ukraine and the Middle East.

Despite being hamstrung by the Biden administration’s policies, America has become the “world leader” in exporting oil, API says. The country produces 13.2 million barrels per day and exports 2.8 million barrels per day. However, the “misguided” policies of the Biden administration could put that position in jeopardy, the institute says.

Regardless of what the Biden administration does, the demand for oil and gas is “only going up,” API maintains. America and other countries will be consuming substantial amounts of fossil fuels for “decades” to come.

The Biden administration’s reluctance to issue oil and gas leases on federal land has rankled energy producers and conservative politicians. In September 2023, Biden’s administration approved leases for only three new spots in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the New York Times.

Sommers argued these restrictions would harm American pocketbooks and undermine conservation goals.

“This restrictive offshore leasing program is the latest tactic in a coordinated strategy to reduce energy production, ultimately weakening America’s energy dominance, limiting consumers’ access to affordable, reliable energy and compromising our ability to lead on the global stage,” Sommers said in a statement to the New York Times.

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