The Biden-Harris administration issued a report Friday to increase the price of oil leasing fees on federal lands in the United States by 50 percent—even while accusing oil companies of artificially increasing prices through illegal and anticompetitive actions.
Despite record-high gasoline prices impacting American families across the country with winter around the corner, the Biden-Harris administration is recommending Congress hike the cost of oil leases on government lands from 12.50 percent to 18.75 percent.
The 6.25 percentage point royalty rate increase on oil companies would contradict the administration’s promise to lower gasoline prices. In recent weeks, the Biden-Harris administration has asked OPEC to increase oil supplies and requested the Federal Trade Commission conduct an investigation into oil companies for “anticompetitive behavior.”
The rate increase, according to the New York Times, would generate about an extra “$2.5 billion in new revenue by the end of the decade,” which oil companies would pay to the federal government, though consumers would absorb the increased cost the companies incur. So far, the Biden-Harris administration has collected $1.6 billion more from oil leases in 2021 than in 2020.
An increased royalty rate would be the first rate hike since 1920 and would fulfill President Biden’s campaign promise to global warming activists and the far-left.
After taking office, Biden threatened American energy independence by mandating a temporary ban on oil leases until Friday’s report was issued. But after 13 states sued and overturned the order, “Shell, BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobil offered $192 million for the rights to drill” in the Gulf of Mexico.
The report from the administration coincides with the massive tax and spend reconciliation package that Democrat leaders are attempting to jam through Congress. The package was passed in the House last week and will likely find its way into the Senate, where it stands little chance of passage as written.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have opposed many provisions in the package, including tax increases, hits to American energy independence, and welfare provisions.
The recommendation to Congress to increase the cost of oil production is the latest tactic in the war on American energy independence. In January, Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline and is also considering canceling the Michigan Line 5 pipeline. Biden also rejoined to Paris Climate Accords and is conducting an environmental regulatory review of repairs instituted by the Trump administration that protected American energy independence.
On Tuesday, Biden raided the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices, despite Vice President Harris slamming then-President Donald Trump in 2020 for refilling them. The immediate impact of the raid was an increase in oil prices. Due to constraint capacity on pipelines, the United States’ output from the reserve is 4.5 million barrels per day.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.