US lawmakers examine offshore energy development after Biden pauses new leases for oil drilling

Washington DC Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — On Thursday, a Senate committee examined the impact of offshore energy development on the country.

“The revenue that we receive from this energy production off our shore is so critical to this effort,” U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said.

Cassidy says President Joe Biden’s pause on new leases for oil drilling hurts the people in his state.

“The current posture of the Biden administration threatens our long-term ability to fund these projects while putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk,” Cassidy said.

“We are a major oil- and gas-producing state,” Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-La.) said.

Edwards says the revenue from offshore drilling also helps his state fund its climate change goals of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“This is an ambitious goal, but it’s what the global scientific community says is necessary if we want to avoid the most severe impacts from climate change,” Edwards said.

Some lawmakers recognize the pause has a financial cost but say it’s necessary to ensure the country is making the right choices.

“I believe the new administration has the right and responsibility to take pause and evaluate how these energy programs are working,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said.

Manchin says even though many states benefit from offshore drilling, advancing renewable energy is the key to progress.

“This is important innovation, driven by U.S. manufacturing know-how and we need to keep these concerns in mind as we look to develop offshore wind energy,” Manchin said.

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