Biden tried to pass the blame on rising gas prices to oil firms, which backfired badly.
Joe Biden has blamed rising U.S. gas prices on oil firms that he accuses of “anti-consumer behavior” since November, and has suggested that oil companies drill for more oil.
However, drilling for oil is difficult when a federal agency’s math mistake delays permit for existing leases.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act is enforced by a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Act, as well as its rules, permits the “take” of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. persons who are engaged in a specific activity, such as oil exploration and production.
In a report by the Daily Caller, NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad stated in an April 29 letter to the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) that a subagency “discovered a miscalculation” that has caused a massive backlog in permitting. In examining the implications of offshore drilling, Spinrad admitted that the NOAA Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) utilized erroneous models. The miscalculation, according to the report, resulted in overstated wildlife effects, which caused delays in the approval of existing licenses.
“NMFS understands the concerns of industry and is working with [the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)] to expeditiously develop … revised regulations.”
The NOAA letter response to an April 5 letter from NOIA, the American Petroleum Institute, and the EnerGeo Alliance warning energy producers had experienced significant permitting delays.
Oil and gas companies, in particular, have cited delays in receiving letters of permission (LOA) from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to conduct pre-drilling activities such as seismic surveying and geological exploration. According to business groups, the math error was established by the Biden administration in an April 2021 regulation.
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Commerce, the administration is “working to consider all possible solutions to expedite the rulemaking process to the greatest extent possible.”
The spokesperson added:
“The Commerce Department understands the concerns of industry and is working expeditiously to address the incorrect data it received for the initial rule and to proceed in earnest with the revised rule.”
The report noted the spokesperson did not answer a question about the size of the backlog for permits caused by the government mistake.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and 19 other Republican senators wrote the Department of Commerce on Tuesday about the permitting delays caused by the mathematical error. The lawmakers demanded that the administration issue a new rule immediately to correct the problem.
Or, at the very least, follow the rules in place prior to the erroneous April 2021 regulation.