Senate GOP pushes back on list of participants in oil and gas leasing forum

Senate GOP pushes back on list of participants in oil and gas leasing forum
© Greg Nash

Republicans on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee are raising objections to the Interior Department’s list of participants for a forum on federal oil and gas leases. 

In a letter sent Monday, Republicans on the panel accused the department of deliberately excluding Republican governors of energy-producing states. The forum, set for March 25, will review the Biden administration’s moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands.

“We believe that you have intentionally limited the right for the public to participate, including state-wide elected officials, namely the governors of our states,” says the letter. 


GOP senators signing the letter included Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Biden says he and GOP both 'sincere about' seeking infrastructure compromise Senate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick MORE (Wyo.), the panel's ranking member, as well as Sens. Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisHillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan Senate votes to repeal OCC 'true lender' rule MORE (Wyo.), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesGOP senator urges Biden to withdraw support for COVID vaccine patent waiver Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals House conservatives take aim at Schumer-led bipartisan China bill MORE (Mont.), Bill CassidyBill CassidyRomney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' Utah county GOP censures Romney over Trump impeachment vote Amazon blocks 10B listings in crackdown on counterfeits MORE (La.), James Risch (Idaho), John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenGOP sees immigration as path to regain power The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax MORE (N.D.), John CornynJohn CornynGOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Police reform talks hit familiar stumbling block CNN asks Carol Baskin to comment on loose Texas tiger MORE (Texas) and Kevin CramerKevin John CramerAll congressional Democrats say they have been vaccinated: CNN Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill Biden administration faces big decision on whether to wade into Dakota Access fight MORE (N.D.).

Participants in the virtual forum are set to include representatives of industry groups, unions and advocacy groups, according to the full list released by the department.

These include Alaska Federation of Natives executive vice president and general counsel Nicole Borromeo, North America's Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey, National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito, National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp and Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president for policy, economics and regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute.

The moratorium was one of Biden’s first acts as president, and has drawn heavy criticism from Republicans in Western states in particular. An end date to the hold has not yet been announced, but newly seated Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandSenate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick Interior secretary approves new Cherokee constitution providing citizenship rights for freedmen Carter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority MORE said at her confirmation hearing that “it’s not going to be a permanent thing where we’re saying we’re restricting all these lands from something.”