Why Republicans are flocking to nation’s richest oil and gas fields

By Nico Portuondo | 06/20/2024 06:33 AM EDT

Top House Republicans have been traveling to the Permian Basin to attack President Joe Biden’s energy policies.

Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and August Pfluger (R-Texas).

Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) (second from left) and August Pfluger (R-Texas) (second from right) touring a hydraulic fracturing facility in Midland, Texas, in recent weeks. Guthrie/Facebook

There’s one place in the U.S. that House Republicans have been visiting repeatedly as of late: a flat, arid landscape that for shade offers creosote bush and greasewood.

It’s not what’s on the surface of the Permian Basin the stream of lawmakers are interested in, but the vast oil and gas deposits underneath.

The region, which covers tens of thousands of square miles across Texas and New Mexico, has become the highest-producing oil field in the United States. In 2023, it produced around 40 percent of the nation’s oil and around 25 percent of the nation’s natural gas.


Perhaps even more importantly, it has become a favored backdrop for Republicans as they rally against President Joe Biden’s climate and renewable energy agenda.