DENVER—The Senate today passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a landmark bill that will do more to address the climate crisis than any previous bill in American history. The bill also contains a top-to-bottom overhaul of the century-old oil and gas leasing system on America’s public lands. Unfortunately, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that one portion of those reforms, which would have increased the minimum bonds that drillers must post before drilling on public lands, did not meet the requirements for passage under the Senate’s reconciliation rules, and was removed from the final bill.
The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:
“This bill is a tremendous downpayment on America’s renewable energy future. Our thanks go out to all of the senators who worked tirelessly to keep it on track and defeat amendments that would have weakened the much-needed reforms to America’s oil and gas leasing system, including Senators Bennet, Hickenlooper, Heinrich, and Rosen.
“This final bill is not perfect. It is troubling that it locks in another decade of onshore and offshore oil leases. When it becomes law, the Interior Department will need to move quickly to implement the law in a way that provides maximum protection to threatened landscapes and species across the West. The upcoming companion bill to reform energy permitting represents both an opportunity and a risk, and we’re hopeful the Senate can craft a law that speeds renewable energy development while ensuring our natural resources are preserved for future generations.
“In all, we cannot let the bad outweigh the good that this bill represents. We look forward to quick passage in the House and President Biden’s signature.”