The Truth About H. Res. 987

The Truth About H. Res. 987

In yet another blatant display of putting polluters over people, House Republicans have shown their hand with House Resolution 987. The content of this resolution is not only wildly inaccurate, misleading, and misguided—it does not even attempt to find real solutions to the crises facing us today. Instead of getting to work with their most basic job of keeping the government running, House Republicans have instead chosen to cast the remarkable economic transition that is spurring an economic renaissance across the country and increasing our energy security and independence as somehow bad for America. Let’s be real: the vision they’ve put forth in this resolution amounts to air choked with pollution, water unfit to drink, and climate change raging out of control.

We’ve gone through their election-year propaganda line-by-line to pull out the most egregious examples of misleading or patently false statements to set the record straight:

Gas Prices and Domestic Energy Production


Permitting & Leasing

  • Under the Biden administration, there has not been an end to permitting and leasing as House Republicans would lead us to believe. Instead, following the Congressional mandate in the Inflation Reduction Act to hold lease sales, the administration has complied. What they have changed is the amount of due diligence taken to avoid the unnecessary and wasteful speculation so common in the previous administration. This has resulted in lease sales made up of lands that actually have a chance of being developed with fewer resource and social conflicts. We may not be big fans of continued leasing, but this is leasing done better.
    • Onshore: Republican narratives about Biden blocking drilling also fall apart upon a simple Google search. According to the latest data, since taking office, the Biden administration has approved 50% more drilling permits than the Trump administration. That’s not great news for the climate, but it’s 180 degrees from the lies on which House Republicans are trying to build energy policy.
    • Offshore: As with onshore leasing, it is yet another lie to imply that Biden has canceled all offshore oil and gas lease sales. Congress mandated lease sales in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico all of which the Biden administration held. With only three scheduled lease sales in the newly released five-year plan, it is not a victory for oil and gas, but it’s not a victory for Gulf communities or our planet either.
  • New regulations are protecting taxpayers from the century of harm oil and gas drillers have wrecked on our shared public lands by forcing industry to clean up its mess when it’s done drilling. Congressional–not Biden administration–mandates raised royalties and rents and other fees for drillers on federal lands, but only to levels that harmonize them with what states charge. When industry complains, it’s really just lamenting the loss of a free lunch paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
  • According to expert modeling, even if the Biden Administration issued no new offshore leases, there would be minimal effects on U.S. oil production and prices in the five- to ten-year time frame. This is because any new leases issued during the new 5YP would not begin producing oil and gas for approximately five to ten years—or longer, in deep waters— a fact House Republicans like to ignore. This means that any new leasing won’t result in more oil and gas for a long time—it will, however, lock us into future carbon emissions, undermining our ability to address the climate crisis as it steadily worsens.  

This short-sighted and inherently flawed resolution is just the latest in a long string of deeply troubling legislation from House Republicans in their quest to undo the incredible progress the Biden-Harris administration has been making on climate. It is thanks to this administration that we have taken meaningful steps to address the climate crisis and ensure we have a livable future. With a resolution like this, it could not be clearer that House Republicans are putting polluters over the good of the American people and our planet.

Valerie Cleland and Josh Axelrod are senior advisors to the NRDC Action Fund.