A group of Republican senators has demanded answers from the Biden administration over the recent downward revision of the number of unused fossil fuel permits.
The correction, which was blamed on a “reporting discrepancy,” led the White House to justify decreased oil and gas leasing.
Senators Ted Cruz, Kevin Cramer, John Hoeven, James Lankford, Mike Braun, James Risch, and Markwayne Mullin led the group and wrote a letter to Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning demanding more information about the error.
They noted that the false figure had been used by the White House to justify its refusal to comply with timely onshore and offshore federal oil and gas lease sales.
Mullin told Fox News Digital that the Biden administration has been gas-lighting domestic energy producers for the past two years.
He also criticized the administration for using faulty statistics to justify its refusal to comply with timely onshore and offshore federal oil and gas lease sales.
In late February, the BLM quietly corrected the current number of approved but unused applications for permits to drill from about 9,000 down to less than 6,700.
A BLM spokesperson told Fox News Digital at the time that the figure was updated “to account for a reporting discrepancy resulting from a transition to a new database in mid-2020.”
Cruz, Cramer, Hoeven, Lankford, Braun, Risch, and Mullin’s letter also highlighted that many of the permits that have been awarded to oil and gas companies are tied up in legal battles, require additional permitting, or need additional leases to be fully developed.
The letter stated that the BLM is fully aware of such leasing dynamics.
The timely leasing of federal minerals, as required by law, is a core part of the BLM’s function, as is correctly communicating the statistics regarding progress on that front to the American people, the GOP lawmakers wrote.