Rhetoric Vs. Reality: Big Oil’s Lies About House Oil & Gas Leasing Proposal
A Big Oil group recently outlined how the industry would be impacted by the House’s proposed oil and gas leasing plan, and resorted to lies, exaggerations, and fearmongering to hide the truth
Accountable.US: “Listening to Big Oil about the impact of the House Natural Resource Committee’s proposal is like asking a middle school bully how to save lunch money. They will use every trick in the book to scare folks out of supporting bold and necessary steps to protect our climate from further damage”
Washington, D.C. – The Vice President of the American Petroleum Institute (API), a Big Oil special interest group, Lem Smith, recently penned a blog post about the supposed impacts of the House Committee on Natural Resources’ oil and gas leasing proposal, and big surprise, his message is that the sky is falling. While Smith has resorted to lies, exaggerations, and fearmongering about the House’s proposal, the revisions would actually improve royalty revenue, help local economies and schools, and get taxpayers a better value from public lands.
“Listening to Big Oil about the impact of the House Natural Resource Committee’s proposal is like asking a middle school bully how to save lunch money. They are using every trick in the book to scare folks out of supporting bold and necessary steps to protect our climate from further damage,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “A majority of Americans support addressing climate change and protecting our public lands and environment for generations to come. We must cut through the special interest rhetoric to get it done.”
Despite claiming the sky is falling to the media and public, extractive industries are presenting a positive outlook to investors on earnings calls, posting steady job increases and actively recruiting new employees, and paying more in royalties — a portion of which helps fund state budgets and public schools — debunking Smith’s message that the proposal would have a detrimental impact on the industry.
RHETORIC: Critics claim the House’s oil and gas leasing proposal will lead to “punitive policies [that] discourage U.S. energy development with new, targeted measures against the U.S. natural gas and oil industry”
REALITY: The proposal is not punishing anybody. In fact, the oil industry is already sitting on a 9.9 million-acre stockpile of unused leases, and Interior is on track to approve more drilling permits than during 2019, when the Trump administration aggressively pursued a
drilling-above-all-else agenda at the expense of public lands, climate, and taxpayer value. The House’s plan will protect the interests of taxpayers by modernizing the broken public lands oil and gas leasing program while raising revenues and protecting shared public resources.
RHETORIC: Critics claim the committee would “inundate producers with a myriad of new taxes and fees to create a de facto natural gas and oil development ban on federal lands”
REALITY: Big Oil has spent the last year arguing that fees from public lands oil production, such as royalties, are a vital lifeline to local governments and schools. Many states are getting even more money from federal oil production after the leasing pause than at any time during the Trump and Obama administrations. Further, Big Oil boasted a great quarter one, with API board member companies, including ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP, reporting $41.5 billion in profits, which they used to raise dividends and repurchase over $412 million in stocks. The House proposal includes commonsense reforms that will boost the revenues by modernizing the public lands oil and gas production royalty rate.
RHETORIC: Workers in the oil and gas industry would be hurt by the leasing proposal, and it would cause overall harm to the economy.
REALITY: Since the public leasing pause, Big Oil has boasted about adding jobs behind closed doors, supported by data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a steady rise and stability in oil and gas industry jobs since January. 29 Big Oil companies have over 1,200 job openings currently listed on their websites.