Interior Department report: Biden knows he is keeping energy prices high

Source: Hot Air

The “most transparent administration ever” certainly is establishing a track record for keeping things secret from the American public and that pattern is being repeated again this week. At a time when Joe Biden is threatening to impose new taxes and penalties on the oil and gas industry for “making too much money” and blaming them for the high cost of gasoline, a secret has slipped out from this administration. Katie Tubb at Heritage is reporting that there are a couple of nuggets of information to be found in a massive report recently released by Biden’s Department of the Interior. The report deals with the scheduling of drilling leases, particularly for offshore reserves (of which there has been exactly one thus far during Biden’s time in office) and how the White House plans to handle such auctions in the coming years. Tucked away in the lengthy document is a direct acknowledgment that energy prices would come down if leases were being offered on a normal schedule, but the administration is still considering a plan where the number of auctions might be… zero.

Americans know all too well that soaring energy prices have raised costs throughout the economy. What isn’t as obvious is that the Biden administration knows it is blocking solutions that could decrease those costs.

Such an embarrassing admission likely won’t come in President Biden‘s next press conference. But it can be found buried in a 500-page report by the president’s Department of the Interior, sufficiently out of sight of Americans demanding answers from leaders.

Interior recently closed the comment period for its 2023-2028 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Proposed Program. The lease plan should have been done and agreed upon before June, when the previous five-year plan expired. Yet here we are, nearly five months later, with only a draft plan to study.

As noted, this plan was due to be completed in June under federal law. But thus far, they’ve only managed to come up with a draft proposal. The draft does indeed say that one option under consideration is to offer no offshore leases to be put up for auction. But it also includes this gem: “New OCS [Outer Continental Shelf] oil and natural gas production … lowers the price consumers pay and producers receive.”

So Joe Biden’s own Interior Department (headed up by Deb Haaland) is admitting in official documentation that if they were holding these auctions as required by federal law, not only would the cost to consumers be lower, but it would drive down the profits of the energy companies that Biden is complaining about so loudly.

Going one step further, the Interior Department’s analysis openly admits that blocking access to offshore drilling will not result in any significant “transition” from fossil fuels to a “green energy” economy. They estimate that more than half of the potential losses in domestic production would be offset by “oil and gas imports” from other countries. In other words, they are admitting that shutting off access to new domestic energy exploration will achieve none of their goals while making the Biden energy crisis worse rather than better.

Interior estimates that a single round of drilling leases being auctioned off could cut the price of oil by nearly one dollar per barrel immediately and lower the cost of natural gas as well. Oil and natural gas account for 68% of Americans’ total energy consumption for heat, power, and transportation. So how does the White House explain the rationale behind offering zero leases over the next five years? They don’t. This is being done to fulfill the wishes of Biden’s environmentalist base with no consideration of the consequences. Whoever let these people get behind the wheel of the national bus really need to have their heads examined.