GOP chairman: Energy out West is ‘screwed’

Rep. Rob BishopRobert (Rob) William BishopOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits | House Republicans introduce bill to speed mining projects for critical minerals | Watchdog faults EPA communications in contamination of NC river House Republicans introduce bill to speed mining projects for critical minerals Tensions emerge on Natural Resources panel over virtual meetings MORE (R-Utah) said people in Western states are "screwed" because of federal ownership of land and resources.

In response to a question from Hill.TV “Rising” co-host Buck Sexton, Bishop, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said “those of us who live in areas that are dominated with federal lands — the West — we’re screwed.”

“In the last 10 years, the amount of oil we’re producing has gone from 5 million barrels a day to 10 million barrels a day, roughly, and the amount of gas has gone from 55 billion cubic feet to 88 billion cubic feet a day," Bishop told Hill.TV.

But Bishop says there would be more growth without the National Environmental Policy Act’s permitting process, which was enacted in 1970. 

Bishop claims this law is now being “misused” to “slow projects down” through ongoing ligation from activist groups. 

"I’m sorry, Ken Burns didn’t do everything. The National Parks is only about 11 percent of all that land. The rest of it is for multiple use — for wilderness, but also for recreational and economic development, and it can be done,“ Bishop said.

Bishop believes the federal government should partner with states and let them be the ones in charge of the permitting process.

“[States] can do in a matter of months what takes us — the federal government — years to actually accomplish, and states aren’t going to be litigated as much as the federal government will,” Bishop said.

— Tess Bonn