WASHINGTON — Rep. James Lankford challenged a key Obama administration official on Thursday over the contention that domestic oil and gas production had benefited from the president's energy policies.
Lankford sounded almost incredulous when Tommy Beaudreau, an acting assistant secretary at the Interior Department, said the administration's policies were responsible for the boom in oil and gas production.
“It almost sounds like you said ‘yes' on that,” Lankford said, referring to Beaudreau's response to a Democratic lawmaker.
“Which policies in particular from the administration have increased the production of oil and gas in the United States?”
Beaudreau replied, “Our broad strategy and broad policies to promote responsible energy development I think are the right ones.”
Beaudreau said he rejected the notion that the Obama administration had worked to impede energy production.
Lankford said that was a different question than whether the administration's policies had actually led to increased production. Many producers, he said, would assert that they have moved their efforts to state and private lands because of obstacles to drilling on federal land.
“To talk about credit or blame I think is beside the point in a lot of respects,” Beaudreau responded. “I think we do support what is happening on the energy front. It's good for the country … and we're going to continue to pursue it.”