Republicans’ SPR bill leaves Democrats squirming over oil leasing: ‘It’s the process of balance’

Several top Democratic lawmakers, who voted for more federal oil and gas leasing in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), were quick to criticize Republican legislation Tuesday that would similarly tether future Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) releases to additional leasing.

The lawmakers — Reps. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Kathy Castor, D-Fla. — explained during a press call Tuesday afternoon that they were willing to support more leasing in some cases even after they criticized such leasing as a handout for the fossil fuel industry. The three Democrats have all previously taken hard-line stances against new fossil fuel production on federal lands and waters.

“In terms of the Inflation Reduction [Act], in terms of the piece of legislation where we voted for mandated sales, it’s the process of balance,” Grijalva, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, said in response to a question from Fox News Digital during the call. “There is no balance to H.R. 21 and [the IRA] provided the most resources historically to deal with the real issue of the climate crisis and climate action associated with those resources. That was the balance, that was the investment.” 

“There is no investment in H.R. 21 and, in fact,

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