President Joe Biden and his senior advisers meet with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Thursday, October 7, 2021, in Counselor to the President Steve Ricchetti’s West Wing office. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)
“We too need a realistic and reasonable plan that is responsive in the immediate term to our domestic needs and those of our allies while being forward thinking in the short term and the long term. The first, immediate action item is to increase our domestic oil and gas production on both federal and non-federal lands. This is going to take both the administration and the industry to step up to the plate. Stop pointing fingers, take action and just get it done.”
“The administration has been pointing to 9,000 on-shore drilling permits that have already been issued for federal leases that have not yet been drilled. What I’m told is that while this number is a little bit higher than normal, it’s not extremely out of the ordinary, especially considering that 7,600 of the 9,000 of these permits have been extended past their initial 2-year term by the Bureau of Land Management. A leaseholder has to apply for this drilling permit months, if not more, in advance due to the review process and there is no guarantee that conditions will be right in the market or in the ground to drill with a given permit.”
Manchin urged the ban on oil and gas leases to end and then criticized the administration, “But industry also needs signals from the administration that they will support oil and gas development and production. That includes taking concrete steps, like working on a new five-year plan for the Gulf of Mexico since we know that the current plan expires at the end of June. The Administration’s failure to act to on the five-year plan combined with the failure to appeal the vacated lease-sale means that we’re almost certainly looking at no offshore lease sales until sometime next year, to say nothing about the failure to hold onshore sales.”
Manchin also pointed out the incompetence or the Department of the Interior and the department’s lack of fight when an oil and gas lease in the gulf was canceled right after Putin invaded Ukraine. The Senator from West Virginia said gulf oil is the heaviest produced in America and our refineries are well suited to handle it, so we should look to that to alleviate the supply shortage.