WSJ Outlines Biden Admin’s Backdoor Climate Agenda

The Wall Street Journal published an editorial March 18 discussing the Biden administration’s “backdoor” plan to advance climate regulations. As the editorial outlines, it appears that the Biden EPA plans to use the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to move forward with climate regulations in order to avoid the political costs of voting on any such regulations in congress. 

Some history

In Massachusetts v. EPA (2007) the Supreme Court ruled that the law’s general definition of the term “pollutant” covered greenhouse gases, but the Court didn’t tell the EPA how to regulate carbon dioxide under the law. This set the stage for the Obama EPA’s endangerment finding, which declared greenhouse gases a threat to public health and welfare. 

In the wake of the endangerment finding, green groups pressured the Obama EPA to include carbon dioxide as a criteria pollutant and to set National Air Ambient Quality Standards for it. Because carbon dioxide doesn’t produce any direct negative effects on public health, Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson advised against the idea of regulating it as a criteria pollutant. Instead, the Obama EPA used its Clean Power Plan to try to force states to reduce emissions from power plants. However, the Clean Power Plan was eventually blocked by the Supreme Court. 

The New Plan

The climate lobby now appears to have a scheme underway by which it will use a replacement ozone rule to regulate carbon dioxide. The Biden administration has tapped Joe Goffman, a former Obama EPA official, to oversee NAAQS as principal deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation. As the Wall Street Journal’s editorial explains:

“Emails obtained by Chris Horner at Energy Policy Advocates, which were shared with us, show Democratic AGs in 2019 consulted Mr. Goffman, then at Harvard Law School, on using the NAAQS to regulate CO2. Mr. Goffman connected the AGs to former EPA officials and environmental attorneys. As his new EPA profile slyly explains, Mr. Goffman at Harvard ‘led a team of attorneys and communications specialists providing information and analysis to stakeholders, government decision-makers and the media.’

Consultants referred by Mr. Goffman told the AGs that regulating CO2 as a criteria pollutant wouldn’t fly. But they proposed using ozone NAAQS as what one called a ‘backdoor.’ Fossil fuel combustion, motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions contribute to ozone. So the EPA could make states reduce CO2 emissions by tightening ozone standards. States might have to outlaw natural gas-powered appliances, gas stations and internal combustion engines to meet stricter ozone standards.”

On January 19th, sixteen Democratic AGs challenged the EPA’s current ozone NAAQS in a one paragraph lawsuit that says the current standards are “unlawful, arbitrary and capricious and therefore must be vacated.” With Joe Goffman now in place in Biden’s EPA, it appears their goal is to construct a replacement ozone rule that would provide de facto regulation of carbon dioxide emissions. 

In short, it appears as though Democratic AGs, green groups, and a top EPA official are working in unison to impose the Green New Deal on states through the backdoor because, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, “they know they can’t pass it through the front in Congress.”

CLEAN Future Act Puts Ratepayers On The Hook For EV Infrastructure

In early March, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) introduced the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act. The bill aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with an interim target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels no later than 2030.  

Taken as a whole, the bill would impose overbearing regulations on the production of our most reliable energy sources, which would raise costs on energy consumers and destroy jobs in the energy industry. Here, I want to focus on one particular section of the bill that aims at encouraging the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations in the name of environmental justice. Here is the summary language for the relevant section of the CLEAN Future Act:

“Sec. 435. STATE CONSIDERATION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING.

Amends PURPA section 111(d) to require states consider authorizing measures encouraging deployment of electric vehicle charging stations; allowing utilities to recover from ratepayers’ investments that further deployment of electric vehicle charging networks; and excluding from regulation as electric utilities entities selling electricity to the public solely through electric vehicle chargers.”

Under rate-of-return regulation, utilities are allowed to recover their cost to do business and earn a guaranteed return on invested capital. Under this system, there is little incentive for the utility to reduce operating costs. As long as the rate-of-return is above the cost of debt, the rate base can be inflated by spending more capital than is necessary. If passed, the CLEAN Future Act would allow utilities to rate base the construction of electric vehicle charging stations, meaning that the cost of these charging stations will be passed on to utility customers as a whole. 

As we have noted elsewhere, EVs are already heavily subsidized and those subsidies are costly, unnecessary, and unfair. Electric vehicles are mainly subsidized through tax credits, which are the result of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (H.R. 6049) and The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). These provide federal income tax credits for new qualified electric vehicles of up to $7,500. 

According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, the majority of people who claim the electric vehicle tax credit earn a much higher income than the national average. As the report notes:

“In 2016, 57,066 individual taxpayers claimed $375 million in plug-in EV tax credits. EV tax credits are disproportionately claimed by higher-income taxpayers. Most of the tax credits (78%) are claimed by filers with adjusted gross income (AGI) of $100,000 or more, and those filers receive an even higher proportion (83%) of the amount of credits claimed. About 7% of credits claimed, and 8% of the total amount of credits, were on returns where the taxpayer’s AGI exceeded $1 million.”

That same report found, based on estimates provided by the Joint Committee on Taxation, that under current law tax expenditure (forgone revenue) for the plug-in EV tax credit would be $7.5 billion between 2018 and 2022. 

In other words, American taxpayers are already spending billions of dollars to subsidize electric vehicles that are mostly being purchased by high-income earners. On top of that, this new bill would ensure that the costs of building out EV infrastructure will be paid by utility ratepayers in the form of higher electricity prices. This follows a familiar pattern where policies that are enacted in the name of ‘environmental justice’ disproportionately benefit wealthier individuals while the costs are passed on to everyone else.

The Unregulated #28: Tom and Mike Discuss Biden’s Remarks on the American Rescue Plan

AEA Issues Energy Scorecard Vote Alert for DOI Nominee Deb Haaland


Senators casting votes in support of Rep. Haaland for Interior Secretary will earn a negative mark on AEA’s Energy Scorecard.



WASHINGTON DC (March 15, 2021) – Today, the American Energy Alliance (AEA), the country’s premier pro-consumer, pro-taxpayer, and free-market energy organization, issued a vote alert to members of the U.S. Senate that the organization would be scoring the confirmation vote of Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) as the next Secretary of Interior. AEA’s Energy Scorecard has two primary audiences – voters and lawmakers – and its purpose is to highlight activity around the most important energy-related votes and legislation in Congress.

Last month, AEA issued a series of questions exposing poor judgment and actions by Haaland and a history of unscientific commentary on climate change and opposition to domestic energy production. Tapping America’s vast energy resources on federal lands has proven to keep energy prices affordable and increased our nation’s energy security.

A vote in support of Haaland, who opposes safe and responsible domestic energy development, will result in a negative mark on a Senator’s Energy Scorecards.

AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement ahead of the vote:

“While Biden’s nominees for various energy and economic positions have been awful, Rep. Haaland may be the most extreme. Her wholehearted opposition to the invaluable practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), her advocacy for the “30×30” movement, which would exclude most of the federal lands from productive use, and her endorsement of the Green New Deal make her unfit to lead the department.

“Haaland hails from New Mexico, the epicenter of America’s thriving oil and gas production, and earned a 0% as a member of Congress on our Energy Scorecard. That means she actively opposes domestic energy production and seeks to drive up energy prices while inhibiting America’s energy security. Supporting her in this role should be political suicide and we’re making that crystal clear with today’s vote alert. These aren’t threats, these are facts.

“Any Senator who casts a vote in support of Haaland is voting against American energy and will be forced to explain to their own constituents that they are directly responsible for rising energy prices and why foreign nations like China, who controls the rare earth mineral market required for renewable energy manufacturing, is in control of our energy future, not us.”


Federal policies impacting energy production on America’s public lands hit Haaland’s home state of New Mexico particularly hard, where $2.8 billion in revenue is derived from oil and gas production. At least half of New Mexico’s oil and gas production occurs on federal lands, and the revenue generated from oil and gas funds almost 40% of the state’s budget. Furthermore, President Biden’s Interior Department initiated a 60-day suspension of new oil and gas drilling permits on Jan. 21, which if remained permanent is estimated to result in 72,818 fewer jobs annually. Lost wages would total $19.6 billion, economic activity would decline $43.8 billion, and tax revenues would drop $10.8 billion by the end of Biden’s first term. Western governors, including Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), have voiced concern about federal decisions that overwhelmingly impact western states.

On Friday, AEA urged U.S. citizens who support affordable energy to contact their senators and urge a No vote on Haaland. After votes are cast, AEA will use its Energy Scorecard to highlight those that vote for and against Haaland. Americans deserve an Interior Secretary who has a record of seeking a balanced approach to federal lands activities and who supports energy security.


Additional Resources:


For media inquiries please email AEA’s Press Office: [email protected]

The Unregulated Podcast #27: Tom and Mike discuss environmental justice with Dr. David Kreutzer

The Unregulated Podcast #26: Tom and Mike on the Fall of King Cuomo and the Resurgence of the Carbon Tax

On this episode of Unregulated Tom & Mike throw the script out the window. Taking on the Cuomo fan club, going over the latest DOE chief’s unbelievable gaffes, Murkowski’s recent betrayal of Alaskans, the fall of Neera Tanden, what’s going wrong with the trade groups nominally created to defend energy producers, and more.

Links:

Subscribe to AEA’s ‘In The Pipeline” daily energy newsletter

Mike’s latest column at the Washington Times

GERALDO RIVERA & DAN BONGINO | GOV. ANDREW CUOMO TO STEP DOWN AMID SCANDALS | SEAN HANNITY

Jennifer Granholm Discusses The U.S.’s Energy Infrastructure on NPR

Postal Service sidetracks Biden EV plan

las·si·tude (noun) a state of physical or mental weariness; lack of energy

Top 10 Questions for Mallory & McCabe

Promoting former Obama officials with a history of failed policies will not unite America.


WASHINGTON DC (March 3, 2021) – Today, the American Energy Alliance (AEA) issued ten suggested questions for today’s Senate Environment & Public Works Committee confirmation hearing for Brenda Mallory to serve as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Janet McCabe to become the Deputy Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CEQ advises the President and develops policies on environmental justice, federal sustainability, public lands, major infrastructure projects including pipelines and highways, and the U.S. EPA is responsible for the protection of human health and the environment. Combined, the two serve as critically important bodies impacting America’s energy and environmental issues. 

AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement ahead of the hearing:

“It seems that President Obama is enjoying his third term as the revolving door between the green left lobby and Democratic administrations continues to swing widely with respect to these two Biden nominees. Considering their roles in the execution of former President Obama’s ‘America last’ energy policy – especially the disastrous so-called Clean Power Plan – this duo is set up to do some serious damage if confirmed. I urge the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee to ask some very serious questions before deciding whether to confirm these two individuals.”

5 Questions for Brenda Mallory:

  1. During your tenure under the Obama’s administration, you reported to newly installed domestic “climate czar” Gina McCarthy. There are a number of legal and policy concerns with the unaccountable role of these czars, including constitutional issues around the Appointments clause, specific statutory limits on their role (which provide limited, delegated authority to agencies and strict transparency requirements on White House/interagency role), unwillingness to provide Congressional testimony, FOIA applicability, and ethics requirements.
    • Could you explain in your own words your view of these czar positions and how you plan to interact with Ms. McCarthy?
  1. According to publicly available tax records, your current employer, the Southern Environmental Law Center, between the years 2008-16 received approximately 41 grants totaling $10,750,000.00 from foundations requesting the law center attack coal and promote renewable energy under the guise of climate change. 
    • With this kind of paid advocacy in your history, how do you intend to remain impartial, fair and objective?  Will you recuse yourself on any matters connected to these foundations or the law center, which is currently involved in litigation on CEQ’s 2020 NEPA modernization rule?
  1. The Biden administration appears fond of the term environmental justice. 
    • In your own words, could you please define what environmental justice means? Could the term be misused, abused, or altered to achieve a premeditated outcome?  Do you believe that energy companies intentionally target specific communities and seek to take advantage of them?  If so, how?
  1. The Trump administration enacted several positive, commonsense regulatory reforms that promoted American energy development. However, the Biden administration has pledged to undue of the previous administration’s work as much as possible. 
    • Do you believe there are any actions the Trump administration took or regulations implemented that shouldn’t be changed? If so, which ones?
  1. In an executive order aimed at tackling climate change, President Biden directed federal agencies to “eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as consistent with applicable law.” Mr. Biden also said he would ask Congress to end the $40 billion in fossil fuel subsidies through legislation. 
    • Do you know which subsidies President Biden was referring to since the fossil fuel industry receives tax deductions rather than tax subsidies, and many of the industry’s tax deductions are federal law? 

The estimated amount that the Production Tax Credit that funds wind power will cost taxpayers $40.12 billion from 2018 to 2027, making it the most expensive energy subsidy under current tax law, though the solar investment tax credit is giving wind competition for that honor. 

Do you think the President is confused, and if so, would it be your responsibility to educate him on this matter? 

5 Questions for Janet McCabe:

  1. Roll Call, a Washington-DC newspaper labeled you the “architect,” and in a Newsweek Op-Ed you wrote, you declared yourself the “author” of EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) under the Obama administration.  
    • Given that the Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of staying the CPP, what steps will you take to ensure that the Biden administration’s replacement for the CPP will fully comply with the law?
  1. Your previous tenure at EPA was marked by approval of dozens of sue-and-settle arrangements with environmental NGOs and against states, as well as nontransparent coordination with activist groups. 
    • Will you recuse yourself on any matters connected to these foundations?
  1. Communications obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) during your previous role at EPA revealed that you were using a non-government email address to coordinate with groups involved in the regulatory process and litigation, and therefore circumvented recordkeeping requirements by the federal government.  
    • Why should Members of Congress or the American people trust you this time? Can you pledge to this committee that you will not engage in this sort of effort to avoid transparency? 
  1. China has a virtual monopoly on the processing of rare earth elements that are needed for high tech (smartphones and laptops), defense equipment, and so-call “green” energy technologies. It not only produces the majority of rare earth elements, but it has the most rare earth reserves. China’s market dominance enables it to control prices and put pressure on challengers that threaten its ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy to create a vertically integrated supply chain encompassing mining, magnets, and high-tech manufacturing. 
    • Do you believe China is mining these minerals in an environmentally responsible way? Do you believe the U.S. needs to move to regain control of its industrial future to implement these “green” energy policies? Or should it maintain reliance on China?
  1. In 2010, the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill passed in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives but failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate. 
    • If a cap-and-trade bill or carbon tax bill is passed by this Congress, what form do you think the tax should take: Is it an emissions tax, a fuel tax or a production tax?
    • Which greenhouse gases are covered? Which sources (if any) are exempt?
    • Ultimately, who pays the tax and how would the revenue be spent?

The confirmation hearing for Brenda Mallory and Janet McCabe is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am EST on March 3, 2021 in the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.


Additional Resources:

The Unregulated Podcast #25: Tom And Mike Are Joined By Phil Kerpen To Discuss The Latest COVID Developments And More

Top 10 Questions for DOI Nominee Deb Haaland

The confirmation hearing for Representative Deb Haaland, who has been nominated for the position of Secretary of the Interior, is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23. 

The Department of the Interior is responsible for vast tracts of federal public lands and is, resultantly, among the most important departments with respect to America’s energy future. Rep. Haaland has established positions that put her nomination at odds with the long-term viability of federal lands administered by Interior, which are critical to the production of affordable and reliable energy. Lawmakers should be prepared to raise the following questions as they consider her nomination:

  1. As one of the sponsors of the 100% Clean Economy Act of 2019, you have publicly stated your support for powering the U.S. economy with 100% renewable energy and for proposals like the Green New Deal.
  1. A recent cold snap in Texas exposed, among other problems, an over-reliance on intermittent renewable energy sources. Half of the wind turbines froze, causing wind’s share of electricity to plunge from 42% to 8%. As a result, power prices in the wholesale market spiked, and millions of Texans lost power and at least twenty-three have died.
    • What lessons do you draw from the crisis in Texas?
  1. The U.S. Treasury has estimated that the Production Tax Credit that funds wind power will cost taxpayers $40.12 billion from 2018 to 2027, making it the most expensive energy subsidy under current tax law. To date, wind only contributes about 7.3% of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA.)
    • Do you think this ratio of subsidy to wind generation is a fair return on investment for U.S. taxpayers? If so, why? If not, would you support ending subsidies for wind power generation?
  1. China controls the world’s supply chain for rare earth elements and strategic and critical minerals necessary for renewable energy like solar panels, windmills and batteries. In fact, the U.S. is nearly four times more dependent on them for minerals critical for these technologies than we ever were on the Middle East for oil imports.
    • Is this impending reliance on China something that concerns you?
    • How would you consider improving this situation as Secretary?
  1. The United States federal government maintains a government-to-government relationship with the 566 federally recognized Native American Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities. As a member of the Laguna Pueblo, you are of course well-versed on the role that the Department of the Interior has in facilitating and promoting tribal self-determination. You have, however, been a critic of oil and gas development that is important to the revenues of some tribes.
    • How would you respond to tribes like the Ute Indian Tribe in Utah that have developed the oil and gas on their tribal lands using hydraulic fracturing?
    • Would you seek to end the oil and gas development on tribal land? And if so, how would you recommend tribes replace lost revenue?
  1. In 2017, you wrote that “fracking is a danger to the air we breathe and water we drink” and “auctioning off of our land for fracking and drilling serves only to drive profits to the few.”Thanks to oil and gas development, your home state of New Mexico received $2.8 billion in revenue last year, roughly a third of the state’s general funds. Of that money, a third to half came from operations on federal land. These funds are then used to support schools, build roads and support first responders.
    • Do you not consider this revenue, and the services they support, a benefit to New Mexico? 
    • How would your home state be able to make up that huge shortfall in the budget were you to eliminate oil and gas production on federal lands?
    • The Wyoming Energy Authority estimates that the West would lose $670 billion over twenty years if President Biden’s 60-day moratorium on new oil-and-gas leases were converted to a ban on oil and gas development on federal lands. What would your plan be to replace lost jobs and revenue across Western states?
  1. Along with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you claim to have been among the thousands gathered in North Dakota to support protestors’ efforts to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
    • Can you summarize your interests and activities in North Dakota?
    • Approximately 24,000 tons of trash were reportedly left behind after the protest. Many protesters stayed in petroleum-based lodging like yurts and cooked and stayed warm with fossil fuel energy. Can you summarize your environmental impact during your stay for this pipeline protest?
  1. According to a Congressional Research Service report, the federal government owns roughly 640 million acres, about 28% of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States. Four major federal land management agencies manage 606.5 million acres of this land, or about 95% of all federal land in the United States. In addition, the U.S. owns 1.76 billion acres of offshore mineral estate, for a total of around 2.4 billion acres of mineral estate. This amount of land interest is larger than all countries in the world except Russia and Canada.
    • Do you support the U.S. government owning so much land?
    • Which levels of government—tribes, municipalities, counties, states, the federal government, etc.—do you think are best suited to manage these lands?
  1. Thanks in part to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. oil industry now pumps about 12 million barrels a day overall, and shale-oil companies account for about 8 million barrels of that total—roughly 8% to 10% of the global supply of oil. We are no longer reliant on unfriendly or unstable nations for its energy. Meanwhile, unfriendly foreign leaders like Russia’s Vladimir Putin have used energy as a weapon, threatening to turn off natural gas to neighboring nations like Ukraine.
    • As the child of two parents who served in the U.S. military, what is your view on energy security and responsibilities to our allies overseas?
    • If America is able to aid our allies with plentiful, affordable natural gas, what would your message to be nations like Ukraine when denying them natural gas (in the form of delivered liquified natural gas – LNG)?
  1. As a small business owner yourself, you have firsthand knowledge of the role regulations can play in when trying to keep a business afloat.
    • What is your view on the federal government’s regulatory role? What should it do, and just as importantly, what shouldn’t it do? 

For more information on Rep. Haaland’s record on energy issues, and details on positions held by other Biden cabinet nominations check out the American Energy Alliance’s database on nominees and their positions on energy topics.

Top 10 Questions for DOI Nominee Deb Haaland


America’s newfound energy dominance could be in peril if promises of unrealistic, expensive energy policies are implemented.


WASHINGTON DC (February 22, 2021) – Today, the American Energy Alliance (AEA) issued its top ten suggested questions for the Department of Interior nominee Representative Deb Haaland for tomorrow’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing. The Department of Interior oversees America’s vast federal public lands and is arguably the most important federal department determining the fate of America’s energy production—and energy future.

AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement ahead of the hearing:

“Americans should be very concerned about President Biden’s radical choice for the Department of the Interior. Representative Haaland has made disparaging comments not only about domestic oil and natural gas production, but also about the workers themselves. She has made clear her opposition to the technology of fracking and the construction of new pipelines. As a representative from New Mexico, she should know better. Her state depends on oil and gas production on federal lands to support schools, build roads, and support first responders. She is simply the wrong choice for the Department of Interior.”


Top Ten Questions from the American Energy Alliance:

  1. As one of the sponsors of the 100% Clean Economy Act of 2019, you have publicly stated your support for achieving 100% renewable energy and proposals like the Green New Deal.
  1. A recent cold snap in Texas, which neighbors your home state of New Mexico, exposed an over-reliance on intermittent renewable energy sources that cannot deliver when it’s needed the most. Half of the wind turbines froze, causing wind’s share of electricity to plunge to 8% from 42%. As a result, power prices in the wholesale market spiked, and millions of Texans lost power and at least twenty-three have died.
    • Is there anything you’d like to say to these Texans and their families?
  1. The U.S. Treasury has estimated that the Production Tax Credit that funds wind power will cost taxpayers $40.12 billion from 2018 to 2027, making it the most expensive energy subsidy under current tax law. To date, wind only contributes about 7.3% of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA.)
    • Do you think this ratio of subsidy to wind generation is a fair return on investment for U.S. taxpayers? If so, why? If not, would you support ending subsidies for wind power generation?
  1. China used more cement in just three years than the U.S. did in the entire 20th century. Last year, they increased their coal plant capacity by more than three times the amount the entire rest of the world did. They make over half the world’s steel and use over half the world’s coal, nearly 5 times that of the U.S. This year, for the first time in 150 years, they will surpass the U.S. in refinery capacity. They also control the world’s supply chain for rare earth elements and strategic and critical minerals necessary for renewable energy like solar panels, windmills and batteries. In fact, the U.S. is nearly four times more dependent on them for minerals critical for these technologies than we ever were on the Middle East for oil imports.
    • Is this impending reliance on China something that concerns you?
  1. As a 35th generation New Mexican and member of Pueblo of Laguna west of Albuquerque, you likely recognize and support the ability for tribes to act in their own best interest and as a sovereign nation including establishing casinos as a means of revenue. Yet, you have been an outward critic of oil and gas development on public lands and the use of hydraulic fracturing, a technique that has been safely performed millions of times and largely credited with unlocking America’s shale reserves.
    • How would you respond to tribes like the Ute Indian Tribe in Utah who have developed the oil and gas on their tribal lands using hydraulic fracturing?
    • Are they wrong for pursuing the natural resources on their lands?
    • Would you seek to end their oil and gas development on their sovereign soil? And if so, where you would suggest their redirect their economy which is reliant on oil and natural gas development?
  1. In 2017, you wrote that “fracking is a danger to the air we breathe and water we drink” and “auctioning off of our land for fracking and drilling serves only to drive profits to the few.”
    • Thanks to oil and gas development, your home state of New Mexico received $2.8 billion in revenue last year, roughly a third of the state’s general funds. Of that money, a third to half came from operations on federal land. These funds are then used to support schools, build roads and support first responders.
    • Do you not consider this revenue, and the services they support, a benefit to New Mexico? How would your home state be able to make up that huge shortfall in the budget were you to eliminate oil and gas production on federal lands?
    • Furthermore, the Wyoming Energy Authority estimates that the West would lose $670 billion over twenty years if President Biden’s 60-day moratorium on new oil-and-gas leases were converted to a ban on oil and gas development on federal lands.
    • What would your plan be to replace these jobs and revenue in New Mexico and across other Western states?
  1. Along with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you claim to have been among the thousands gathered in North Dakota to support protestors’ efforts to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
    • Were you paid or financially compensated by any organization for your time or expenses for this protest?
    • Approximately 24,000 tons of trash were reportedly left behind after this “environmental” protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and many stayed in petroleum-based lodging like yurts and cooked and stayed warm and cooked with natural gas-based fuels like propane.
    • Are you able to summarize your environmental impact during your stay for this pipeline protest?
  1. According to a Congressional Research Service report, the federal government owns roughly 640 million acres, about 28% of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States. Four major federal land management agencies manage 606.5 million acres of this land, or about 95% of all federal land in the United States. In addition, the US owns 1.76 billion acres of offshore mineral estate, for a total of around 2.4 billion acres of mineral estate. This amount of land interest is larger than all countries in the world except Russia and Canada.
    • Do you support the U.S. government owning so much land?
    • Which level of government do you think is best suited to manage these lands – state or federal?
  1. Thanks in part to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. oil industry now pumps about 12 million barrels a day overall, and shale-oil companies account for about 8 million barrels of that total—roughly 8% to 10% of the global supply of oil. We are no longer reliant on unfriendly or unstable nations for its energy.
    • Unfriendly foreign leaders like Russia’s Vladimir Putin have used energy as a weapon, threatening to turn off natural gas to neighboring nations like Ukraine.
    • As the child of two parents who served in the U.S. military, what is your view on energy security and responsibilities to our allies overseas?
    • If America is able to aid our allies with plentiful, affordable natural gas, what would your message be to nations like Ukraine when denying them natural gas (in the form of delivered liquified natural gas – LNG)?
  1. As a small business owner yourself, you have firsthand knowledge of the role regulations can play in when trying to keep a business afloat.
    • What is your view on the federal government’s regulatory role? What should it do, and just as importantly, what shouldn’t it do?

Rep. Deb Haaland’s confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30am EST on February 23, 2021 in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.


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