(TheConservativeNews.org) – An internal climate agenda memo from the Biden administration was accidentally leaked on Friday, and its explosive contents have “appalled” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
In the memo, obtained by Fox News Digital (FND), Biden’s administration acknowledged that Americans would enjoy “greater energy security” if fossil fuel companies were charged less to drill, but because of the “serious challenges” our country is facing from “climate change,” they decided to hike the royalty fees for an oil and gas lease sale that encompassed 958,202 acres in the Cook Inlet off Alaska’s coast anyway.
“If a Cook Inlet prospect would be developed, there would be additional government revenues and greater energy security for the State of Alaska, especially if development of natural gas resources in the Cook Inlet ameliorated the long-term supply challenges facing the Anchorage area,” Former Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Amanda Lefton wrote late last year in the memo.
“Nevertheless,” she continued, “because of the serious challenges facing the Nation from climate change and the impact of [greenhouse gasses] from fossil fuels, BOEM is not recommending this option since it would not include an appropriate surcharge to account for those impacts.”
Rather than charge drillers with a royalty fee of 16.67%, which Lefton said would result in more bids and “be more likely to facilitate expeditious and orderly development of [offshore] resources,” she recommended the Department of the Interior (DOI) raise the royalty fee to a whopping 18.75%.
DOI Assistant Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis signed off on Lefton’s recommendation. In her record of decision — published in November after she’d given it the green light — Daniel-Davis explained that she went with the 18.75% fee “because this rate constitutes the most reasonable balancing of environmental and economic factors for the American public.”
She neglected to mention that the lower fee would have provided “the American public” with greater energy security.
Lease Sale 258 was held by BOEM on Dec. 30.
Just one bid worth $62,983 was submitted at the auction for a single tract covering 2,304 acres, according to federal records.
In May, the White House canceled Lease Sale 258, which had been proposed under the Trump administration, in an unexpected decision that was promptly criticized by the fossil fuel industry and Republican lawmakers. However, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) mandated that the administration reverse the decision and hold the sale by the end of 2022.
Sen. Manchin helped to write the disastrous Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), but, with the release of the memo, he is now calling the Biden administration’s implementation of it “radical.”
“The Department of the Interior mistakenly posted an internal memo making recommendations to Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Laura Daniel Davis, on the Cook Inlet Oil and Gas Lease Sale 258 mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act,” the controversial senator said in a statement on Friday.
“I am appalled by its contents,” he continued, “which make crystal clear that this administration is literally putting their radical climate agenda ahead of the needs of the people of Alaska and the United States.”
He accused the Biden administration of ignoring Congress’ intent and cozying up to environmental groups “at the expense of shoring up American energy security and keeping Americans safe.”
“The contents of this memo speak volumes – if this is what this Administration truly believes and is how they are going to make decisions, it is unacceptable,” Manchin said.
“It’s a clear and intentional threat to energy security and the all-of-the above energy policy Congress has consistently reinforced,” he stated. “I will not support anyone who agrees with this type of misguided reasoning.”