Democrats Demand Biden Bans Oil Drilling on Federal Land, Declare 'Climate Emergency'
House Dems call on Biden to end fossil fuel subsidies
House Democrats are demanding that Joe Biden declares a national "climate emergency" to ban oil drilling on federal land.
Progressive Democratic lawmakers are reportedly planning to publicly urge Biden to ban oil drilling despite record gas prices and a war in Ukraine that has disrupted oil markets.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus is planning to demand that Biden use his executive power to declare climate change a national emergency and ban drilling on federal lands, according to a report from Politico.
Politico reporter Joshua Siegel revealed the move in a post on Twitter.
"House liberals to urge Biden to declare climate emergency, ban drilling on federal lands as part of a sweeping executive order plan to be released by @USProgressives this week," Siegel tweeted.
"Progressive Caucus member @JaredHuffman told me calling on Biden to declare a climate emergency is one of the ‘centerpiece’ actions to headline their EO plan."
"A draft of the plan I saw also calls for Biden to ban oil/gas drilling on public lands and end fossil fuel subsidies," Siegel added.
Progressive Caucus member @JaredHuffman told me calling on Biden to declare a climate emergency is one of the “centerpiece” actions to headline their EO plan. A draft of the plan I saw also calls for Biden to ban oil/gas drilling on public lands and end fossil fuel subsidies— Joshua Siegel (@SiegelScribe) March 15, 2022
Siegel added that House Democrats will also call on Biden to manufacture more heat pumps to "ease the strain in oil and gas markets that has been caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine."
Some of those heat pumps would be donated to Europe, according to the House Progressives' plan.
The reported move drew immediate criticism on social media with many pointing out that gas prices have surged to record levels prompting Republicans to call for increased drilling to ease pain at the pump, not less.
"Dems want $10 gas," Republican Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted.
Dems want $10 gas. https://t.co/Q7vND6Lrc0— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 15, 2022
"The Democrats need to wake up," Republican Sen. Steve Daines tweeted.
"We must unleash American energy."
The Democrats need to wake up.— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) March 16, 2022
We must unleash American energy. https://t.co/cPW2vZT2ao
"And Democrats wonder why people blame them for high gas prices," a Twitter account associated with the National Republican Congressional Committee tweeted.
And Democrats wonder why people blame them for high gas prices… https://t.co/wZ7ZEYyCqA— NRCC (@NRCC) March 15, 2022
"We need to focus on building critical infrastructure and increasing domestic production, not jeopardizing North American energy security," President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers Jay Timmons tweeted.
"Manufacturers oppose this attempt to potentially further disrupt domestic energy production and drive up prices."
We need to focus on building critical infrastructure and increasing domestic production, not jeopardizing North American energy security. Manufacturers oppose this attempt to potentially further disrupt domestic energy production and drive up prices. https://t.co/4Kmfq21HJg— Jay Timmons (@JayTimmonsNAM) March 15, 2022
The use of a "climate emergency" also raises constitutional concerns.
As the nation eases out of emergency COVID restrictions imposed two years ago by governors and local authorities, the controversial orders shut down businesses and destroyed millions of jobs nationwide.
The Biden administration has faced intense criticism in recent weeks for refusing to commit to increasing oil production in the United States as gas prices have surged roughly $1.50 per gallon since he took off in a crisis that has been exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"It’s going to go up," Biden told a reporter when asked about gas prices last week.
"Can’t do much right now.
"Russia is responsible."