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S. 76: POWER Act of 2021

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 28, 2021 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Does the executive order hurt the economy more than it helps the environment?

Context and what the legislation does

On January 27, President Joe Biden issued an executive order placing a moratorium on oil and gas leases in federal land and waters. This didn’t ban the practices entirely, directing the federal government to review — rather than actually halt — existing leases on federal lands and waters, while making no changes to oil and gas leases on tribal lands either.

The POWER (Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources) Act would effectively kneecap that executive order, by blocking either the president, Secretary of Agriculture, Energy, or Interior from halting such energy permits ...



1st Session

S. 76


January 28, 2021

(for herself, Mr. Barrasso, Mrs. Blackburn, Mrs. Capito, Mr. Cassidy, Mr. Cotton, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Cramer, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Daines, Mr. Hoeven, Mrs. Hyde-Smith, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Lee, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Toomey, Mr. Tuberville, Mr. Risch, Mr. Romney, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Scott of South Carolina, and Mr. Lankford) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


To prohibit the President from issuing moratoria on leasing and permitting energy and minerals on certain Federal land, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Protecting Our Wealth of Energy Resources Act of 2021 or the POWER Act of 2021.


Prohibition on moratoria of new energy leases on certain Federal land and on withdrawal of Federal land from energy development



In this section:


Critical mineral

The term critical mineral means any mineral included on the list of critical minerals published in the notice of the Secretary of the Interior entitled Final List of Critical Minerals 2018 (83 Fed. Reg. 23295 (May 18, 2018)).


Federal land


In general

The term Federal land means—


National Forest System land;


public lands (as defined in section 103 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1702));


the outer Continental Shelf (as defined in section 2 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331)); and


land managed by the Secretary of Energy.



The term Federal land includes land described in clauses (i) through (iv) of subparagraph (A) for which the rights to the surface estate or subsurface estate are owned by a non-Federal entity.



The term President means the President or any designee, including—


the Secretary of Agriculture;


the Secretary of Energy; and


the Secretary of the Interior.




In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the President shall not carry out any action that would prohibit or substantially delay the issuance of any of the following on Federal land, unless such an action has been authorized by an Act of Congress:


New oil and gas leases, permits, approvals, or authorizations.


New coal leases, permits, approvals, or authorizations.


New hard rock leases, permits, approvals, or authorizations.


New critical minerals leases, permits, approvals, or authorizations.


Prohibition on withdrawal

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the President shall not withdraw any Federal land from forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws, location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, or disposition under laws pertaining to mineral and geothermal leasing or mineral materials unless the withdrawal has been authorized by an Act of Congress.