GOP lawmakers ask Trump to assist oil and gas producers

GOP lawmakers ask Trump to assist oil and gas producers
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A group of more than 40 House Republicans wrote to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE urging him to give a boost to oil and gas companies ahead of Trump’s slated meeting with oil executives.

They specifically said in a Thursday letter that the president should lessen royalties for producers who drill on federal lands, bring Russia and Saudi Arabia to the negotiating table, and replace Obama-era methane regulations with “cost-effective guidelines.”

“We ask that you continue to prioritize America’s oil and natural gas producers and workforce,” the lawmakers wrote. 

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“If this market does not stabilize soon, we risk rolling back the success of the U.S. energy industry over the past decade, which will have a disastrous effect on America’s economy and jeopardize our energy security,” they added. 

The move from lawmakers comes as prices have plunged amid decreased demand linked to the coronavirus and a Saudi-Russia production-level dispute.

Prices are down significantly from a high of $53 per barrel in February, however, they rebounded slightly when Trump suggested on Thursday there could be a deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia. 

While Republicans have pushed for assistance for the oil and gas industries, Democrats have opposed it, arguing that the coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t be used to worsen climate change. 

There has been particular Democratic opposition to the possibility of waiving or lowering royalties, with Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic MORE (I-Vt.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Merkley, Sanders introduce bill limiting corporate facial recognition MORE (D-Ore.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Budowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey MORE (D-Mass.) even introducing legislation aimed at preventing the administration from reducing royalty rates for coal, oil or gas recovery.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, has taken some actions to boost industry, including a Thursday announcement that it would rent space in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to oil producers. 

The president is expected to meet with executives from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum and Continental Resources on Friday.