Primer: Boebert’s Energy Discharge Petition

Ending President Biden’s War on Energy

Synopsis: A discharge petition (#3) led by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) was filed on April 21, 2021 to force a vote on H.R. 859, the Protecting American Energy Jobs Act. If the petition receives 218 signatures, the legislation can be brought to the floor of the House for a vote.

Shortly after taking office, President Biden issued a slew of new executive orders. Among them were Executive Order 13990 and Executive Order 14008. These orders imposed a moratorium on oil and gas leases within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), paused new oil and natural gas leases on all public lands, and revoked the permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, immediately eliminating between 8,000 and 11,000 jobs.

Fast Facts: What Does H.R. 859 Do?

  • The legislation nullifies both Executive Order 13990 and Executive Order 14008, alongside Secretarial Order 3395 issued by the Acting Secretary of the Interior.
  • Prohibits the executive moratoria on federal lands and the outer Continental Shelf with regard to new oil and gas leases, drill permits, new coal leases, new critical mineral harvesting leases, and new hard rock leases unless Congress has authorized such actions.
  • Prohibits the president from withdrawing federal lands from energy development unless Congress has authorized such an action.
  • Nullifies the revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit, opening up a path for construction and development to once again take place.

Policy Impact
If successful, the discharge petition would bring the Protecting American Energy Jobs Act to the floor for a vote and strip control of the House floor schedule away from Speaker Pelosi. Long term, H.R. 859 puts an end to President Biden’s war on energy.

The legislation underscores the importance of reliable energy development for the future health of the U.S. economy and its vital role for America’s national security. As it stands, the federal government owns some 640 million acres of federal land and some 1.7 billion acres offshore and beyond America’s coasts. The untapped energy resources in those areas are critical for fueling America’s economy well into the future.

Additionally, the bill serves as a congressional rebuke to President Biden’s elimination of thousands of jobs with the stroke of a pen and more broadly, begins the long process to restore Article I congressional authority over an increasingly powerful executive branch.


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