On Tuesday, Republican Senator John Barrasso (Wyo.) confronted a top Interior Dept. official about President Biden’s inconsistent views on gas and oil.
What is the context?
Biden’s stance on gas and oil fluctuates with the political winds.
During his presidential campaign, Biden advocated for a progressive position against fossil fuels. However, when gas prices reached all-time highs earlier this year, Biden urged for increased drilling to alleviate customers’ financial hardship. However, when campaigning for Democrats in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, Biden trashed oil once more and promised “no further drilling.”
What questions did Barrasso ask?
Barrasso confronted Deputy Interior Sec. Tommy Beaudreau during a Senate Energy hearing over Biden’s inconsistent claims using the president’s own words.
First, Barrasso cited Biden’s June speech in which he stated, “Republicans erroneously say that I am impeding development on federal lands. But, once again, that is rubbish.” Then Barrasso cited Biden’s November declaration, in which he promised, “No more drilling… there will be no more drilling.”
“When did he lie? Which was a lie? Because the president is blatantly lying. Which one is it?” Barrasso inquired.
Initially, Beaudreau, the Interior Department’s No. 2 official, supported Biden.
“Senator, as you are aware, drilling on public lands, both onshore and offshore, has not ceased. In reality, under this administration, production on public lands has surged to more than a billion barrels per year,” he replied. “As a result, there has not been any attempt by the administration to obstruct, halt, or impede production on public lands.”
But Barrasso was unfazed, and his follow-up question made Beaudreau uncomfortably laugh.
“The president is then lying when he claims no further drilling, no more drilling. Is the president of the United States telling the American people a direct lie into the camera?” Barrasso prodded.
“So I don’t, you know, I can’t really comment on a quote that is not in context,” Beaudreau said before contradicting Biden.
“Clearly, there is continued drilling as well as production on public lands,” he stated.
While the gas prices in the U.S. have moderated, Biden faces renewed criticism over the past month when his admin. agreed to ease sanctions on Venezuela and give Chevron a license to pump oil in the South American country.