While finishing up a rally for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Sunday, President Joe Biden told a climate activist that he would not allow any new oil drilling in the United States.
Just two days before the midterm elections — in which Democrats are expected to lose control of both chambers of Congress partially due to record-high energy prices — Biden outright stated that he did not want any more drilling, which directly contradicts his previous complaints that oil companies are not drilling enough.
“No more drilling. There is no more drilling. I haven’t formed any new drilling,” the president said, apparently speaking to a young woman who was standing in the front of the crowd, holding a sign protesting Biden for allowing drilling on federal lands.
Biden to what is presumably a climate protester in the audience:
"No more drilling. There is no more drilling. I haven't formed any new drilling." pic.twitter.com/mXBB2Kn1j6
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 7, 2022
The climate activist responded to the president’s comments by arguing that offshore drilling is still occurring in the Antarctic and off of the Gulf of Mexico.
“That was before I was president,” Biden replied. “We’re trying to work on that — get that done.”
According to reporting from Breitbart News, the president then mouthed to his staff, asking them to get the climate activist’s name. Biden then walked over to speak with her directly — talking for a few minutes, likely about his climate policy, before going around to the rest of the crowd.
The president’s comments echo similar statements he made while on the debate stage in 2020 during the Democratic presidential primary.
“No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill. Period,” then-candidate Biden said.
Biden, 2020: “No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill. Period.”pic.twitter.com/e1usgfbVEU
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 31, 2022
Meanwhile, Biden made contradictory statements just last week — blaming oil companies for high gas prices, saying that they were not drilling enough.
“We haven’t slowed them down at all. They should be drilling more than they’re doing now,” the president said during a rally in New Mexico. “If they were drilling more, we’d have more relief at the pump.”
Biden went on to complain that the oil industry had a commitment to the American people, and argued that they were failing Americans by charging too much for gas and making billions of dollars in profits. He then threatened retaliation, asserting that he planned to target oil companies with higher taxes and restrictions if they did not comply.
“Either invest in America or pay higher taxes for your excess profits and face restrictions,” Biden said.