Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, rejected the Biden administration's arguments blaming lowered oil production on companies not using licenses already approved for thousands of locations.
He accused President Joe Biden of living in a "completely unreal world," speaking Tuesday to Newsmax.
"Listening to the president say what he just did that he was not holding this back, I thought I was back in the State of the Union message that we had the other night with all the fiction," Babin, who said he represents a district with more petrochemical refining facilities than any other member of Congress, told "American Agenda."
While announcing the United States' ban on Russian oil Tuesday, Biden promised he would do all he could to minimize price hikes in the United States, but said lifting economic regulations would not boost U.S. energy production, reports NPR.
He added, oil and gas companies "can be drilling right now, yesterday, last week, last year," as they have already leased millions of acres of U.S. land and received permits to drill, but have decided not to use them.
Biden's comments follow those made by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who argued during Monday's press briefing, "there are 9,000 unused approved drilling permits," telling reporters they should ask oil companies why they are not drilling.
"Just because he says it doesn't make it so," Babin said of Biden's comments. "He is most definitely certainly holding back domestic production."
He added he is glad Biden has decided to ban Russian oil, but still, "he has to unleash American energy, and he has to do it immediately."
Further, said Babin, information must be released on the anti-energy agenda being pushed by the White House and Democrats.
"They're controlled by this radical wing," he said. "They want everyone on electric vehicles. They want everybody off of fossil fuels. That's their whole point. But to stop Russia from financing their invasion of Ukraine, he's got to end this federal freeze on all oil and new gas projects … he's got to expedite approval of all pipeline energy development, and when he says he's not going to reauthorize the Keystone pipeline, it tells you that he's not serious about this."
Biden must also start talking to energy producers and "unshackle states like Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and New Mexico," Babin said. "Under President [Donald] Trump, we were energy independent, a net exporter, and he has killed that. He has squandered that in less than a year."
Meanwhile, Babin said he knows the U.S. oil companies cannot immediately turn on their systems to start producing oil again, "but there are things that need to be done to get the ball rolling so that we can replace this Russian oil that we've been hooked on under the Biden administration."
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