(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia exposed the Biden administration’s foolish oil leasing plan as a disaster during his questioning of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
Haaland was asked to testify in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, and she was met with hostility from both sides of the aisle, according to Red State.
During the hearing, Haaland and her deputy director, Tommy Beaudreau, claimed to have a five-year plan in the works.
“It is appropriate for us to take a step, be deliberate as we think about future potential leasing described in the 5-year program,” Beaudreau told Manchin, who is the chair of the committee.
“By the end of June, we’ll take step number two in a three-step process. No decisions about leasing will be made until step number three.”
Manchin, unsatisfied with the response, told Beaudreau that he and his friends were taking “a lot longer than the deadline” to get their new five-year plan done than in the past, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.
“We’re getting this at the last possible day, the last possible minute, knowing that there’s other steps to go through,” Manchin said.
“The timing is not right that you’ve taken as long as you possibly could.”
Haaland said that the alleged five-year plan will be released on June 30, and this will be followed by a 150-day public comment period and environmental review.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., also questioned Haaland, asking when offshore oil leasing would be permitted to begin.
“I don’t think there is an actual deadline,” she responded.
“That’s the concern all of us have, actually, that there’s no deadline,” Lankford said.
“That the proposal to talk about it is coming on the date it should be done, and that this is going to stretch out for the next 2-3 years of talking about it. We’re trying to figure out when’s the deadline to actually start leasing.”