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Progressive Democrats in the House of Representatives are reportedly planning to publicly urge President Biden to ban oil drilling on federal lands amid record gas prices and a war in Ukraine that has disrupted oil markets.
According to a report from Politico, the Congressional Progressive Caucus is planning to demand that Biden use his executive power to declare climate change an emergency and ban drilling on federal lands.
President Biden speaks after exiting a meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus in Washington, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images) (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
„Progressive Caucus member @JaredHuffman told me calling on Biden to declare a climate emergency is one of the ‘centerpiece’ actions to headline their EO plan,“ Politico reporter Joshua Siegel tweeted Tuesday. „A draft of the plan I saw also calls for Biden to ban oil/gas drilling on public lands and end fossil fuel subsidies.“
Siegel added that House Democrats will also call on Biden to manufacture more heat pumps to „ease the strain in oil and gas markets that has been caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.“ Some of those heat pumps would be donated to Europe, according to the House Progressives‘ plan.
The reported move drew immediate criticism on social media with many pointing out that gas prices have surged to record levels prompting Republicans to call for increased drilling to ease pain at the pump, not less.
LAKEWOOD COLORADO – MARCH 9: A sticker of President Joe Biden is placed on a gas pump at an Exxon Station on March 9, 2022 in Lakewood, Colorado. A ban on Russian oil is likely to raise gas prices even more for Americans and turning a trip to the pump political. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images) (Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
„Dems want $10 gas,“ Republican Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted.
„The Democrats need to wake up,“ Republican Sen. Steve Daines tweeted. „We must unleash American energy.“
„And Democrats wonder why people blame them for high gas prices,“ A Twitter account associated with the National Republican Congressional Committee tweeted.
Americans are experiencing the highest gas prices since the 2008 financial crisis, with the national gas price average reaching more than $4 per gallon. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Getty Images)
„We need to focus on building critical infrastructure and increasing domestic production, not jeopardizing North American energy security,“ President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers Jay Timmons tweeted. „Manufacturers oppose this attempt to potentially further disrupt domestic energy production and drive up prices.“
The use of a „climate emergency“ also raises constitutional concerns, as the nation eases out of emergency COVID restrictions imposed two years ago by governors and local authorities, which shut down businesses and destroyed millions of jobs nationwide.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.
The Biden administration has faced intense criticism in recent weeks for refusing to commit to increasing oil production in the United States as gas prices have surged roughly $1.50 per gallon since he took off in a crisis that has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
„It’s going to go up,“ Biden told a reporter when asked about gas prices last week. „Can’t do much right now. Russia is responsible.“