Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen slammed the White House’s call for OPEC+ (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and others) to increase its oil output, following the Biden administration’s lawless actions that restrict American energy production.
“President Biden has made clear that he wants Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy, including at the pump,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a duplicitous statement today.
In response, Attorney General Knudsen issued the following remarks:
- President Biden’s lawless actions restricting domestic energy production began on his first day in office and now that the chickens are coming home to roost, he’s asking countries like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela to bail him out and pump more oil.
- This is an insult to Americans in rural communities who would have benefited from the Keystone XL pipeline and the energy workers in states like mine who are suffering from the effects of the Biden administration’s ongoing federal lease ban. Montana consumers are also hurting, paying almost 50 percent more for gas than they were a year ago.
- If President Biden truly wants ‘affordable and reliable energy’ like he claims, his administration needs to encourage more energy development and infrastructure in America, not continue to illegally restrict it. Until he changes course, we will all continue to pay the price.
According to AAA, the average price for a regular gallon of gas in Montana today is $3.29. This is an increase of 46 percent from the $2.24 per gallon price consumers were paying just one year ago.
On his first day in office, Biden attempted to unconstitutionally revoke the Keystone XL cross-border permit. In March, Attorney General Knudsen led a lawsuit to block the revocation, which cost our state thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in property taxes, and new economic opportunity for communities along the pipeline. The company ultimately terminated the project and is now seeking $15 billion in damages from the United States, a cost that will be borne by taxpayers due to Biden’s unconstitutional actions. The litigation in this case is ongoing.
Also in March, Attorney General Knudsen and 12 other state attorneys general filed suit against the Biden administration’s illegal moratorium on new federal energy leases. By 2025, the cumulative effect of an ongoing mortarium in Montana would be 702 fewer jobs, $170 million reduced personal income, and $199 million in foregone oil and gas tax revenue, according to a University of Wyoming study. A federal judge in June enjoined and restrained the Bureau of Land Management and others from continuing the ban, but it is still in effect in all practicality.