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U.S. Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) reacted today after Joe Biden’s Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was unable to address a memo about canceling oil drilling leases.

Breaking 911 transcribed the exchange in a tweet where they shared a clip and said, “WATCH: Sen. Manchin asks Interior Secretary Deb Haaland about memo (canceling) oil drilling leases.”

MANCHIN: “It looks like you all are going to shut everything down.”

HAALAND: “I am sorry. I am sitting in this hearing…”

MANCHIN: “My God.”

During Haaland’s testimony, Manchin also slammed the Biden administration’s oil and gas leasing policies for having “put America’s energy security at risk.”

Manchin pushed back on the administration’s repeated references to the industry’s 9,000 unused leases to explain the energy crisis.

Ultimately, Manchin argued the administration has the power to pressure the industry to use leases in the hearing on the Interior Department’s fiscal 2023 budget request.

“If the administration’s argument is that industry is sitting on these leases … why don’t they do something about it?” Manchin wondered.

Manchin explained, “For example, if the concern is that too many leases are not being developed in a timely manner, the department could increase the rental rates over time to provide a financial disincentive against holding leases for speculation alone.”

David Caron
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