WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAZ) - U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) joined Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and other colleagues Thursday to introduce the Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2021. The POWER Act would prohibit the president or his secretaries of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) from blocking energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters without Congressional approval.
“The Biden administration continues to sidestep Congress and enact Executive Orders that kill American jobs and attack our natural gas and oil industries. As our country continues to battle COVID-19, actions like this further deplete energy sectors in need of relief, and put our energy independence in jeopardy. This legislation creates a needed check on the Executive Branch, and makes certain that decisions like this are subject to debate in Congress and not rashly signed into action. We must continue to advocate for the families across America who are at risk of losing their livelihood and income in the middle of a pandemic,” said Senator Capito.
President Biden signed executive orders this week to transform the nation’s heavily fossil-fuel powered economy into a clean-burning one, pausing oil and gas leasing on federal land and targeting subsidies for those industries.
The directives aim to conserve 30 percent of the country’s lands and waters in the next 10 years, double the nation’s offshore wind energy, and move to an all-electric federal vehicle fleet, among other changes.
Biden has set a goal of eliminating pollution from fossil fuel in the power sector by 2035 and from the U.S. economy overall by 2050, speeding what is already a market-driven growth of solar and wind energy and lessening the country’s dependence on oil and gas. The aggressive plan is aimed at slowing human-caused global warming that is magnifying extreme weather events such as deadly wildfires in the West and drenching rains and hurricanes in the East.
“We can’t wait any longer″ to address the climate crisis, Biden said Wednesday at the White House. “We see with our own eyes. We know it in our bones. It is time to act.″