Lawmakers prod Biden to act on Interior oil rules ahead of deadline

By Heather Richards | 04/04/2024 06:22 AM EDT

Democrats are worried about congressional Republicans and another Trump administration’s use of the Congressional Review Act.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) led a letter to the Bureau of Land Management urging the agency to finalize rulemaking on oil and gas. Mark Schiefelbein/AP

House and Senate Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to finalize oil and gas rules by the end of the month to avoid potential reversal by Republicans and a future Trump administration.

In a Thursday letter, 21 Democrats and independents — including Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and House Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) — said the Bureau of Land Management’s move to overhaul oil and gas drilling on federal land is a “common-sense” approach that needs to be enacted soon.

“The current oil and gas leasing program shortchanges the American public, locks up thousands of acres of land that could be put to other uses, invites speculation, and often leaves taxpayers on the hook to pay the cost of reclaiming orphaned wells and restoring surrounding lands and waters,” the lawmakers argued.


Other signers were Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine).