Wicker, Hyde-Smith Join Bill to Block Biden Energy Ban

January 29, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde Smith, R-Miss., today joined U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., in introducing the Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2021. The POWER Act would prohibit the President or his Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy from blocking energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters without congressional approval.  

“Energy and natural resource development on federal lands and waters is a cornerstone of eliminating America’s dependence on foreign oil and funds vital conservation efforts nationwide,” Wicker said. “I am extremely disappointed that the Biden Administration has moved so quickly to cut off these sources of domestic energy. I am glad to join Senator Lummis to stand against this misguided executive action and to protect our nation’s energy resources and the thousands of jobs they support.”

“The American people want balanced national energy policies that promote growth and price stability.  Setting the stage to halt development of our energy resources will harm growth and raise costs, ultimately harming low-income families and small businesses across the nation,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Congress should assert itself on critical energy development policies, which is the intent behind this legislation.”

Last week, President Biden’s Interior Department temporarily banned new energy leases and permits on federal lands. Yesterday, President Biden signed an Executive Order further directing the Secretary of the Interior to pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and waters.

Other POWER Act cosponsors include Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., John Boozman, R-Ark., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Steve Daines, R-Mont., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., John Kennedy, R-La., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Roger Marshall, R-Kan., James Risch, R-Idaho, Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala. 

A companion House bill sponsored by Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., is also co-sponsored by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman, and others.

Bill text is available HERE.