CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming’s U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney has signed on as a cosponsor of the American Energy Independence from Russia Act, legislation that would require President Joe Biden to develop an energy security plan within 30 days and take action to ramp up domestic energy production.
“The legislation I’m co-sponsoring would offset these Russian imports by ramping up domestic energy production, specifically allowing for oil and gas leasing to resume on federal lands and ensuring that oil and gas lease sales must take place in Wyoming moving forward,” Cheney said in a press release Tuesday. “Just as the United States was an arsenal of democracy during World War II, we need to be an arsenal of energy for the world today and this bill is an important step toward achieving that.”
Cheney criticized the Biden administration’s energy policy, saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlights the importance of domestic energy production.
“The Biden Administration’s energy policy has been wrong from day one,” Cheney said. “Now, as Vladimir Putin conducts an unprovoked and unjustified assault on a sovereign nation, the United States must stop importing Russian energy and block their access to this revenue source.”
The American Energy Independence from Russia Act would require the immediate approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and would require the Biden administration to increase liquid natural gas imports.
The legislation would also prohibit the Biden administration from putting moratoriums on new oil, gas, coal, hard rock and critical mineral lease sales, permits, approvals and authorizations.
The Bureau of Land Management under the Biden administration has not held an oil and gas lease sale in five quarters, despite a federal judge in Louisiana ruling in June 2021 that the administration does not have the authority to block oil and gas lease sales without approval from Congress.
The American Energy Independence from Russia Act would require such oil and gas lease sales to resume and would direct the Department of the Interior to conduct a minimum of four oil and gas lease sales in Wyoming and other states where land is available for leasing under the Mineral Leasing Act, according to Cheney’s office.
The legislation would also require the U.S. Secretary of Energy to develop a plan to increase oil and gas production and leasing on federal lands in conjunction with drawdowns of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.