WASHINGTON, D.C. — A coalition including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, state and local Chambers from across the nation and trade associations called on the Biden Administration to remove impediments to greater domestic energy production—including abandoning an Administration proposal to ban new offshore lease sales.
204 Chambers representing 47 states and 14 national associations told President Biden that businesses of all sizes are facing burdens from increased costs for goods, services and transportation which are threatening the economy. They said that mixed signals from the Biden Administration regarding domestic energy production are complicating necessary investments in refining capacity, exploration and production.
The Chambers' specifically called for ending the ban on new oil and natural gas exploration on federal lands and waters, restoring cancelled lease sales, and adopting a 5-Year Plan for offshore oil and gas development that allows the U.S. to fully leverage its offshore energy potential.
"With analysts predicting a return to high oil and natural gas prices this fall and winter, businesses are bracing for even more pressure," said Marty Durbin, President of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute. "While we recognize that policies supporting increased production won’t solve our challenges overnight, it will send important market signals that could help unlock investment, helping avoid long term supply shortages and elevated prices."
"New Jersey companies need access to oil and natural gas in order to maintain our diverse economy," said Thomas Bracken, President and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. "Oil and natural gas play an important role in everything from chemicals to pharmaceuticals to manufacturing, all of which are important industries in our state. Limiting domestic production of these resources at this critical time is not what is needed."
The letter from the Chambers comes as the Administration missed the deadline to finalize a new Five Year Plan for offshore oil and gas development—the first time in history that a lapse has occurred. The Department of Interior’s proposed plan includes an option for zero lease sales, effectively banning all new offshore energy production. The Department has also failed to maintain the onshore leasing schedule that federal law requires.
"The world needs safe, affordable energy and thankfully America has plenty of it. It’s time to get America back in the game and the perfect place to start is the Gulf of Mexico," said Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President and CEO Stephen Waguespack. "We know that producers along the Gulf Coast supply nearly 15 percent of our nation’s oil production, over 2 percent of our nation’s natural gas production and are capable of doing so much more. We need the Administration and Congress to stop tying the hands of our domestic energy producers at a time in which energy prices are rising and inflation remains at historic levels. America has the tools and resources, particularly right here in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast, to maintain our position as a global energy leader. It’s time to flip the switch on American energy and allow our energy creators to do what they do best."
"Energy security and competitive prices have continued to set the U.S. apart as an economic superpower," said Sandy K. Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. "As a center for manufacturing and emerging technology, it is especially important to our region that the Administration act to ensure energy access, affordability and reliability to keep our competitive advantage."
The letter also notes that U.S. oil and gas could help reduce global dependence on Russian energy, which will help curb funding for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and provide environmental benefits because Russia’s oil and gas production is among the dirtiest in the world, while America’s is among the cleanest.
The full letter is available here.