Miss. Senator Wants White House to Be Open to “Real Solutions” to Increase Oil & Gas Supplies

051822 High Gas Prices
VIDEO:  Senator Hyde-Smith Blasts Failed Biden Energy Policies as Gas Prices Rise.
PHOTO:  Senator Hyde-Smith with Senators Lisa Murkowski, Ted Cruz, and John Boozman.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With gasoline prices exceeding $4 a gallon in all 50 states, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today called on President Biden and his allies to accept significant responsibility for failed administration energy policies that are driving up energy costs.

Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today joined colleagues at a news conference to call on the Biden administration to reverse course and accept Republican-backed solutions to increase U.S. oil and gas production.

“I wish I could say cancelling these latest oil and gas lease sales came as a surprise; but it is no surprise at all.  The day Joe Biden put his hand on the Bible and he was sworn in as president of the United States, he began this—to destroy American energy,” Hyde-Smith said.  “It is just par for the course that he continues this war on American energy.”

Hyde-Smith criticized Democratic efforts to deflect blame for high gas prices and policies to diminish oil and gas production.

“They blame Republicans.  They blame Putin.  They blame oil companies.  But Americans know better,” Hyde-Smith said.  “The Biden administration and Democrats need to take this crisis seriously, and stop finding every excuse in the book to shrink energy production.  Until this happens, every family and business in Mississippi and around this country will continue to pay the price of Biden’s failed energy policies.”

Hyde-Smith supports legislation and policy changes to restore domestic energy production, including her own Domestic Energy Crisis Relief Act (S.3353).

More recently, she became an original cosponsor of the Lease Now Act (S.4228) to require the U.S. Department of the Interior to resume and maintain onshore and offshore federal oil and gas lease sales.  S.4228 also directs the Interior Department to finalize a five-year offshore oil and gas leasing plan.

On Wednesday, Hyde-Smith was also among 20 Senators who signed a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo calling for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to quickly issue permits required to bring additional production online from existing offshore federal oil and gas leases.  These permits are currently delayed within the agency, and clearing them would help boost offshore production.

“While the Biden administration and Members of Congress fault the domestic oil and gas industry for sitting idle on over 9,000 drilling permits and millions of acres in ‘inactive leases,’ NMFS’s permitting delays represent one example of the administration’s de facto ban on new drilling – impeding domestic oil and gas investment, exploration, and production,” the Senators wrote. 

Among other things, the letter notes that the NMFS delays are primarily the result of “three administration-made and admitted mistakes” caused by mathematic errors in calculating endangered species in the Gulf of Mexico.