Washington, D.C. — In a new CNBC interview, Mike Sommers, president of the major Big Oil lobbying group American Petroleum Institute (API), again made baseless claims that a lack of investment by the Biden administration in the oil and gas industry is contributing to high oil prices. Unfortunately for Sommers, evidence doesn’t back him up.

“Big Oil and its lobbyists at the American Petroleum Institute want us to believe that their industry is hurting because President Biden has made strides to protect the nation’s cherished public lands and make sure taxpayers are treated fairly, but the facts tell a different story,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Big Oil’s profits are soaring this year. And if oil companies are worried about leasing new lands to drill on, maybe they should first consider the massive stockpile of federal acres they’ve already gobbled up.” 

Sommers’ argument that the administration’s broadly popular conservation and climate action policies are “preventing us from continuing to develop on federal lands” are patently false.  


  • The wealthy oil and gas companies who comprise nation’s largest public lands leaseholders have stockpiled enough permits to last them beyond the Biden administration.
  • While Sommers and others complain about their ability to obtain access to even more public lands, most oil and gas drilling doesn’t even happen on federal public lands. in fact, a long-term leasing pause would impact less than 10% of federal leases in the U.S.’s most prolific oil basin.
  • New reporting in The Guardian this week reveals that 24 of the top oil and gas corporations made nearly $174 billion in profits this year.
  • Despite what some Big Oil allies want Americans to believe, the administration’s recent audit of the nation’s oil and gas leasing program does not call for an end to oil and gas leasing. 

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