When the Build Back Better bill lands in the U.S. Senate, its chances of approval are even narrower than those in the House.
We know Oklahoma Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford are strong critics of the massive social-spending bill that has been called “dangerous” and another step to a socialist form of government by Oklahoma House members.
The energy goals and targets in the bill certainly are opposed by Senators from most oil and gas producing states. One in particular is the fee on methane emissions which is even drawing concerns of Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who must be convinced of supporting the act, otherwise it is doomed.
The fee is considered the most controversial climate-related element of the House Bill and goes after the oil and gas industry over the methane that is released from crude oil production. It is another tool in the Biden administration’s Build Back Better act to target the industry in the President’s zeal to eliminate fossil fuels.
As an example, the EPA’s proposed methane regulatory rule that came out earlier this month was roundly blasted by Sen. Jim Inhofe, the senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
“The Biden administration continues to put American energy producers in its crosshairs, as evidenced by this most recent, sweeping methane regulatory proposal,” Inhofe said after the agency released its methane proposal.
“It’s astonishing that this administration is doubling-down on their radical environmental agenda at the same time their policies drive up gasoline and heating bills across the nation. This new proposal will create an abundance of unnecessary red-tape while further slowing economic and energy development, all in a desperate attempt to suffocate an industry that Democrats disfavor. I will continue to push back against this proposal and all others that would harm America’s energy independence.”
That’s a vow the Senator will likely carry to the fight against Build Back Better in the Senate.
The methane fee proposed in Build Back Better is only the latest attack on oil and gas. Remember last summer, Biden pushed OPEC to increase its oil production in order to reduce gasoline prices in the U.S.
The request drew immediate opposition from Sen. Inhofe who led a letter-writing campaign by Republicans urging Biden to reverse his OPEC plea.
“It is astonishing that your Administration is now seeking assistance from an international oil cartel when America has sufficient domestic supply and reserves to increase output which would reduce gasoline prices,” wrote Inhofe and other GOP Senators.
They charged in the letter to the President that his domestic policy agenda was to blame for higher energy costs and was having the opposite effect on Americans and “continues to threaten American jobs and family budgets.”
“We urge your Administration to revise its regulatory agenda and legislative priorities as it relates to domestic oil and gas development,” they pleaded in the letter. But their plea fell on deaf ears at the White House.
Sen. Lankford is equally critical of the energy plans of the Biden White House because they include an elimination of the oil and gas industry as we know it.
Last week during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, he asked pointed questions of Biden administration officials about the impact of the administration’s policies on energy and their effect on inflation and increased energy costs.
As another sign that Lankford won’t be a supporter of Build Back Better is his early-November Senate-floor speech against the act. In the speech, Lankford said the 2,000-page $1.75 trillion act “uses budget gimmicks to keep taxpayers on the hook and add to the debt.”
He charged the measure will added to the U.S. debt, hurt American families and further cripple the country’s economy.
“The proposal includes $2.5 billion for US Postal Service EVs, even as Biden is forcing FedEx and UPS to fire employees for his COVID-19 vaccine mandate while USPS is exempt from it. The bill includes a controversial methane fee and allocates $4.2 billion a program previously called the “Civilian Climate Corps,” stated the Senator.
The proposed methane tax has drawn strong opposition from the Oklahoma Petroleum Alliance where President Brook A. Simmons first attacked the plan in October.
“Extremist office holders now in positions of power have long opposed the U.S. oil and natural gas industry even though consumer demand for petroleum products continues to rise. Their solution is to tax and regulate the domestic oil and natural gas industry into extinction, offshore the production of reliable energy sources to other nations, and drive up consumer costs for food, fuel, electricity, home heating, and every staple of modern life,” he said in early October.
In November, Simmons denounced the EPA’s latest methane rule, accusing the Biden administration of ignoring the critical energy shortfalls in other parts of the world and “moving the U.S. from a nation of affordable, reliable and abundant energy to a nation of energy scarcity.”
The American Petroleum Institute has had the same reaction and on Friday charged the House-approved reconciliation bill will only exacerbate the challenges facing Americans.
“This bill taxes American energy, restricts access to our own resources and advances the same type of ‘import-more-oil’ strategy that this administration has been promoting as a solution. We urge the Senate to reject these misguided policies and focus on climate solutions that both reduce emissions and ensure Americans have access to the affordable and reliable energy this sector delivers every day.”