Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced this week that he was working with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to press the Biden White House to open oil drilling in the midst of recent world events. The two senators are leading a bipartisan effort to expand parts of the Gulf of Mexico where drilling is allowed.
Cruz and Manchin joined 14 other members of Congress to push the Biden administration to reverse rules regarding the habitat of an endangered what.
The letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration read that the “proposed rule as written fails to comply with important elements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and would jeopardize domestic energy production, national security and other important interests.”
“In designating any particular area as a critical habitat, NMFS is required to use the best available science to consider the economic impact, the impact on national security and any other relevant impact,” the lawmakers wrote. “Unfortunately, NMFS failed to do so in this case, vastly underestimating the proposed rule’s economic and national security impacts.”
Cruz, Manchin and the other cosigners argued that the rule change is based on one sighting of the specific species off the coast of Texas in 2017, even though there have been few other observations of the whale covered by the regulation.
The lawmakers wrote that the proposed rule would be “both legally and scientifically insufficient to demonstrate the Rice’s whales occupied the habitat.”
The effort comes as the United States is in a unique position. The conflict in the Middle East has increased concern about a possible reduction of supply. In addition, the Biden White House has released much of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in an effort to tamp down oil prices.
Cruz separately wrote on social media that the White House continued its “relentless assault on U.S. energy.”
“I won’t stand by & let this happen. I’m leading the charge to protect American jobs & energy independence,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Biden admin continues its relentless assault on U.S. energy, this time abusing the Endangered Species Act to halt U.S. oil & gas development.
I won't stand by & let this happen. I'm leading the charge to protect American jobs & energy independence.https://t.co/6OnTherMKv
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 17, 2023
Earlier this year Cruz requested that the Biden administration not sell oil from the SPR to China.