Climbing prices for oil were "self-inflicted" when President Joe Biden took office and enacted policies that cut the nation's production, Rep. Matt Rosendale, who has introduced a bill seeking to force the president to begin leasing federal lands again, said on Newsmax Tuesday.
"When President Biden took over, the production of crude oil here in the United States was 13 million barrels a day," the Montana Republican told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "He stops issuing permits for the development of oil and gas across our country, and that production naturally drops off. The producing wells have a diminishing right of return, and we are now down to about 11 million barrels per day of production."
In addition, Rosendale said, Biden stopped the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported an additional 800,000 barrels of oil a day, including 150,000 barrels a day from the Montana-North Dakota area.
"The only answer that the Democrats continue to propose is to go to the strategic petroleum reserves, which were put there in case we have a national emergency, whether it's a weather event that severely damages our ability to produce oil and gas, or whether we enter into a domestic war."
Rosendale said under his proposed legislation, Biden would be required to have at least one lease opportunity each quarter of every year, "so that we can get access to those properties that in the western states that are producing oil and gas and have the potential to produce oil and gas."
He added that Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, has introduced a package of six bills to ensure accessing resources that already have active leases on them to fill the void.
"The price of crude oil is based on global production and global consumption," Rosendale said. "About 100 million barrels a day are being consumed around the world, and we have to make sure that we do our part to provide the amount of energy that the United States consumes."
Rosendale also discussed the Biden administration's plans, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to roll back the use of Title 42, a restriction designed to keep people with communicable diseases out of the country that was brought back into play during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The congressman said the requirement should be implemented, but used in the way it was meant to be as a public health tool to be used to keep all communicable diseases out of the United States, not only COVID.
"The disaster of an invasion that is taking place with our southern border is just as bad as the, uh, self-inflicted problems that we have with energy production in this country, and we know how to secure our southern border," said Rosendale. "We have to change the rules of engagement and empower Customs and Border Patrol to keep people from coming into our country … we have to make sure or that those that are claiming asylum or held in Mexico. Most of them will then cease to travel through many countries to come here because they can see that their asylum claims are not used to allow them to just run freely into our country."
Rosendale further said he thinks the Biden administration's actions allowing more immigrants to enter "certainly looks like a ploy by the Democrats to gain votes.
"We had 700,000, we're estimating, illegal immigrants that were actually brought into our country and distributed around to specific states," he said, noting that many have been sent to places like Virginia, Atlanta, and Houston.
"If these people are voting illegally, again, that's another crime that's just not being enforced," he said.
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