America needs lower gas prices.
In an effort to help ease Americans’ pain at the gas pumps, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Kelly of Arizona are calling on President Joe Biden to encourage drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The two Senators’ comments come as U.S. energy production is coming into focus as the Russia-Ukraine conflict rages on. The war also exposed Europe’s reliance on Russian energy and spotlighted the geopolitical importance of fossil fuels.
The pair began their statement by showing support for Biden’s “decision to coordinate a release of crude oil from the emergency reserves of International Energy Agency members” but added that they “believe more must be done to provide relief to Americans facing rising costs for everything from gas to groceries.”
Kelly and Manchin then requested that Biden establish a “five-year program” to sell oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, something implemented by the Obama administration. According to reporting by Bloomberg, a new plan will not be rolling out when Obama’s plan, which is expected to expire soon, ends. Instead, in Biden’s budget this week, gas and oil leasing revenues in the Gulf only commence after the fall of 2023, which is 18 months away.
To ensure oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico isn’t interrupted, Manchin and Kelly asked the President to continue processing oil and gas leases while they await a new five-year plan.
The Senators also highlighted how oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico would feature in the U.S.’s climate goals.
“Advancing Gulf production does not mean our nation must abandon its climate goals.”
They continued, saying that since the “Gulf of Mexico is among the lowest greenhouse gas-emission-intensity oil production sites in the world and would offset foreign imports that are shipped across oceans,” the move made sense.