(U.S. Senator James Risch Press Release, January 28, 2021)
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo (both R-Idaho) joined Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) to introduce the Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2021. The POWER Act, cosponsored by a quarter of the U.S. Senate, would prohibit the president or his secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy departments from blocking energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters without Congressional approval.
“The Biden administration’s move to ban mineral and energy leasing on federal lands is not only inconsistent with the multiple use mandate enshrined in law, but also raises our energy costs and endangers American energy and technology independence,” said Risch. “We have learned all too well over the last year the national security risks posed by not having control over critical supply chains. Now is the time to develop our resources here at home, not diminish them.”
“Energy and mineral development on federal lands provides affordable electricity to homes across America, and any effort to curtail production would threaten our nation’s energy independence and greatly reduce funding for federal conservation efforts,” said Crapo. “Idaho is home to vast mineral resources, including gold, silver, zinc, and phosphate, which provide high-paying, quality jobs across the state. Senator Lummis’ legislation ensures Idaho’s mineral resources can continue to be responsibly developed in accordance with federal law.”
“The Biden Ban would be nothing short of catastrophic for western states that are already reeling from the decline in energy usage brought on by the pandemic and continued volatility in energy markets,” said Lummis. “It’s a one-two punch that means disaster for energy jobs, families and communities. Through the POWER Act, Congress would reiterate that federal lands should serve not the whims of a radical progressive minority, but the needs of all Americans.”
Additional cosponsors of the bill include Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R- N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
For bill text of the POWER Act, click here.