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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 TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC 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 SandersOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Democratic senators press PhRMA over COVID-19 lobbying efforts  MORE (I-Vt.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySchumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill Tensions grow between liberals and centrists on infrastructure MORE (D-Ore.) and Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyHillicon Valley: Senate unanimously confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar | Scrutiny mounts on Microsoft's surveillance technology | Senators unveil bill to crack down on cyber criminals Biden signs Juneteenth bill: 'Great nations don't ignore their most painful moments' FCC votes to advance proposed ban on Chinese telecom equipment 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.