Sens. Cruz, Cornyn introduce bill opposing oil and gas lease hiatus

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FILE – In this April 9, 2014, file photo, oil rigs stand in the Loco Hills field on U.S. Highway 82 in Eddy County near Artesia, N.M., one of the most active regions of the Permian Basin. President Joe Biden is set to announce a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands, as his administration moves quickly to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment and address climate change. (AP Photo/Jeri Clausing, File)

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, among several other Senate Republicans, have introduced legislation opposing President Biden’s halt of new oil and gas leases on federal lands.

The Protecting Our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2021, aims to prevent the President or his secretaries in the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy departments from blocking energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters without congressional approval.

The President signed executive orders to prevent new oil and gas leases on federal lands earlier this week as a part of his aggressive Climate Change strategy. Biden has since rejoined the Paris Climate Accord and stopped the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Republicans in the House and the Senate have since condemned those actions saying they threaten jobs, hurt the economy and impact national security. Sens. Cruz and Cornyn joined those voices again today introducing the POWER Act of 2021.

“As America continues to recover from a global pandemic, our energy industry desperately needs the Biden Administration’s support, not its scorn. We must work to prevent any administration from crippling our energy industry without approval from Congress,” Cruz said in a statement Friday. “I am proud to support this legislation that will fight back against the Biden Administration’s radical environmental agenda and help our energy industry thrive by supporting hundreds of thousands of blue-collar jobs, keeping household energy costs low for American families, and maintaining our energy independence.”

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