The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Pablo Willis,

New GOP Majority Aims to Give Away Public Lands & Further Enable Big Oil’s Price Gouging

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives takes up legislation pushed by the new MAGA majority that would hamstring the executive branch from counteracting industry price gouging by restricting the President’s ability to release oil from the strategic reserves to lower prices, while at the same time making it easier to hand over control of public lands to Big Oil companies. The Strategic Production Response Act, H.R. 21, limits releases of the national reserve to severe interruptions of energy supply that require the government to open more public land and waterways to drilling. The legislation would also add an additional layer of required reports each time a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) release is needed, which would only further delay badly needed relief and cause more disruptions and price increases.

Last year, hard right-wing members of Congress tried to obstruct President Biden from taking even modest measures to address the skyrocketing price of gas for American consumers. Biden’s SPR release helped drop the prices of oil by $.40 per gallon according to some estimates. Today's action is only the latest extension of this fight, which is sure to continue through the next two years. In response, Accountable.US released the following statement and analysis debunking the new majorities' erroneous justifications for the legislation.

"McCarthy and his MAGA majority are making it clear right out of the gate - they’d rather play politics than provide much-needed relief for American consumers. This bill hamstrings the executive branch, taking away a critical tool in combating rampant price gouging at the pump while making it easier to give our public lands away to the very companies responsible for artificially high prices,” said Jordan Schreiber, Director of Energy and Environment at Accountable.US. “Instead of holding accountable Big Oil CEOs for causing last year's record-setting gas prices, the new majority is hellbent on making political statements as American families suffer.”

Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog that exposes corruption in public life and holds government officials and corporate special interests accountable by bringing their influence and misconduct to light. In doing so, we make way for policies that advance the interests of all Americans, not just the rich and powerful.