Democrats call 3 oil company execs to testify about unused permits

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News



Russian President Vladimir Putin will soon have company on the list of people onto whom Democrats hope to foist blame for the cost of gas in America.

With fuel still selling at historic rates, more inflation expected, Americans growing more miserable, and Republicans missing no chance to blame President Joe Biden’s energy policy for the spike in prices, Democrats plan on deflecting at least blame toward a familiar target.

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, announced Friday that he’d invited executives from three U.S. energy companies – EOG Resources, Devon Energy Corporation, and Occidental Petroleum – to explain why the companies have not proceeded with thousands of approved drilling permits while requesting more oil and gas developments.

“The oil and gas industry is blaming high prices at the pump on Biden while they sit on unused drilling permits and rake in record profits,” a tweet from the committee’s official account reads. “That doesn’t make sense. Chair @RepRaulGrijalva wants an explanation from industry executives.”

Grijalva has set the hearing for April 5, and it remains unclear if any of the executives will appear. None of the three companies have offered a statement.

It’s been less than six months since the last time oil companies appeared in the House. In October, Democrats conducted a seven-hour hearing during which they accused oil companies of spreading misinformation about climate change.  

April’s hearing might prove equally unpleasant for the oil executives. Democrats have striven lately to build momentum for the idea that their policies are not responsible for a 40-year high in inflation. It’s an effort that has been necessitated by President Biden and Democrats’ poor polling on the matters of gas prices and inflation.

Last week, the White House enlisted TikTok stars to communicate to a younger audience that Putin and a spike in demand brought about by the end of COVID restrictions were to blame for fuel costs.

“The overwhelming majority of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of skyrocketing gas prices, according to a new ABC/Ipsos poll,” the House GOP tweeted Friday, prior to Grijalva’s announcement. “To end his energy crisis, President Biden needs to unleash American energy dominance – not shift the blame.”

A popular complaint is that the federal government has become overly burdensome on the production of fuel. That complaint has come in the form of anger about Biden’s choice to shutter the Keystone XL Pipeline on his first day in office and, as was the case with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), accusations that federal bureaucracy has gummed up the production process.

On the Right, Republicans have not yet weighed in on Grijalva’s hearing announcement, but Conservative members of Grijalva’s committee have reiterated their criticism of Biden.

“The Biden Administration refuses to address inflation, choosing to shift the blame elsewhere. Biden leadership = Failed leadership,” Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), a member of the Natural Resources Committee tweeted Friday.

Thursday, as fallout from Biden’s TikTok plan was still high, Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.), another committee member, tweeted, “In 2020, Joe Biden ran on a platform of ending the ‘ability for the oil industry to continue to drill.’ Biden’s war on American energy began long before Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.”

Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.), a committee member, retweeted the House GOP’s post.