Wyoming – Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, along with her colleagues Senators John Barrasso (Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), John Boozman (Arkansas), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Bill Cassidy (Louisiana), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), John Cornyn (Texas), Kevin Cramer (North Dakota), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ted Cruz (Texas), Steve Daines (Montana), John Hoeven (North Dakota), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi), Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), John Kennedy (Louisiana), Mike Lee (Utah), Roger Marshall (Kansas), James Risch (Idaho), Mitt Romney (Utah), Dan Sullivan (Alaska) Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), Tommy Tuberville (Alabama), and Roger Wicker (Mississippi) have introduced 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.  

 A U.S. House of Representatives companion version of the bill is being sponsored by Rep. Yvette Herrell (New Mexico-02), and co-sponsored by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman, among others. 

Of the bill Sen. Lummis said:  

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. 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.

Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo weighed in on the bill:

Senator Risch: “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. 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.”  

Senator Crapo: “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.  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.” 

Last week, President Biden’s Interior Department temporarily banned new energy leases and permits on federal lands. Sen. Lummis called that action a “strike on the heart of Wyoming jobs, families and communities” and counter-productive to environmental advocacy efforts.