WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) joined their colleagues, led by Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), in introducing the Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2021. The POWER Act 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. Text of the legislation can be found here.
“The economic impacts of the suspension of oil and gas leasing on federal lands will be devastating to Utah’s rural communities, tribes, and small businesses,” Senator Romney said. “And they will be detrimental to Utah’s energy industry, which is struggling to stay afloat and keep Utahns employed during the pandemic. Long-term decisions or pauses to energy leases should be considered and approved by Congress, not by the stroke of a pen through executive order.”
“President Biden’s energy moratorium has already done considerable damage to Utah’s economy. Presidents should not have the unilateral power to kill jobs like this. The POWER Act will check the president’s power by giving Congress a say in future leasing disruptions,” Senator Lee said.
The POWER Act is also cosponsored by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), James Risch (R-ID), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).