Enough with the lies!
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has been accused by energy industry representatives, who say she has misled Americans with a “red herring” after remarks about unused gas and oil leases.
On Monday, after reporters queried why President Joe Biden had not resumed new oil and gas leases on federal lands, Psaki responded by saying the U.S. is already producing oil at “record numbers.”
She continued her statements, saying, “there are 9,000 approved drilling permits that are not being used.”
Psaki then rejected any “suggestion that we are not allowing companies to drill” as inaccurate, adding that reporters should “ask the oil companies why they’re not using those if there’s a desire to drill more.”
However, industry representatives at the CERAWeek energy conference sponsored by S&P Global revealed the answer is not as simple as Psaki implied.
Instead, a report by FOX Business revealed that American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC) CEO Anne Bradbury called the accusation “a complete red herring.”
Bradbury went on to say the claim by Psaki is a “distraction” from the Biden administration pausing leases on federal lands, which she said the council was “concerned about” and believed should “continue right away.”
She also mentioned legislation, saying that the administration is “required under the law” to sell gas and oil leases on federal land.
Bradbury concluded by saying that on existing leases, “industry is producing at a higher level,” more than in the last 20 years. She also highlighted that leases “take many years to explore, to develop and produce on.”
American Petroleum Institute (API) president and CEO Mike Sommers also pointed to the administration’s lack of understanding of oil exploration.
“This represents a fundamental misunderstanding as to how this process works,” he said in response to questions about Psaki’s comments.
“Once you lease land, there is a whole process that you have to go through. First, you have to actually discover whether there is oil and gas in that land. Second of all, you have to get a permit to actually develop that land.”
Rebutting Psaki’s claim that permits are unused, Sommers added, “Right now we actually are developing more leases than we have in two decades, so the White House certainly doesn’t have their facts straight on this.”
Leslie Beyer, CEO of Energy Workforce and Technology Council, backed up Sommers’s remarks, stating, “some permits are viable and some are not,” as the reason many permits remain unused.