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Sens. Cruz, Marshall, Colleagues Fight to Protect Small Energy Producers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) this week introduced the Marginal Well Protection Act to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from levying excessive methane emission fees for wells that produce less than 15 barrels of oil and less than 90 Mcf (90,000 cubic feet) of natural gas per day. Marginal wells are small, often family-owned wells with around 15 employees or fewer. These wells produce almost 7.5% of entire U.S. oil production.

Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said:

“As Americans suffer from high prices due to President Biden’s anti-fossil fuel policies and inflation crisis, the administration’s efforts to implement more ineffective and unnecessary regulatory burdens will only cripple Texas’ marginal wells, which are often small operations, that produce the clean, reliable energy America requires. I am proud to join Sen. Marshall on this legislation to help lower energy costs by cutting red-tape and unleashing the Lone Star State’s thriving oil and gas industry.”

Sen. Marshall said:

“Thousands of Kansans rely on our oil and natural gas industry to provide for their families, and small producers simply can’t withstand the financial burden that comes with excess emission fees. I’m proud to lead on this legislation that protects small marginal wells from Democrats’ war on America’s oil and gas industry, and will continue to fight to restore our nation’s energy independence despite President Biden’s disastrous policies.”

Sen. Lankford said:

“Biden has made it clear he wants to get rid of good-paying energy jobs to force his radical climate-change agenda,” said Lankford. “Many Oklahomans participate in the small-scale oil and gas production that Democrats in Congress are proposing to punish with a job-destroying methane fine. My colleagues and I want to make sure we protect our American energy independence, especially the smaller oil and gas operations, from crushing methane fees. If the Biden Administration is successful at killing small oil and gas producers, our nation will have to purchase more oil and gas from overseas to meet our national energy needs. An American President should prefer American jobs. Unfortunately this President prefers that we beg for more oil from OPEC and Russia rather than unleash American energy production.”

Sen. Daines said:

“On Day One, President Biden declared war on Made in Montana energy, and now Montana small businesses and Montana families are paying the price. This bill protects Montana small oil and gas businesses from burdensome fees and reporting and supports Montana jobs and communities. I’ll keep fighting back against Biden’s anti-energy policies and fighting for Montana energy.”

Sen. Moran said:

“Rather than trying to increase energy production here in the U.S. and working to counter rising energy prices, the Biden administration is fixated on constraining domestic oil and gas production. This legislation will shield small wells, which are often family-owned, from excessive, punitive fees—protecting Kansas producers and helping the U.S. be more energy independent.”

Sen. Inhofe added:

“Marginal wells account for an overwhelming majority of Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas wells. These producers are vital to our economy and the continued well-being and financial security of so many families and businesses. Marginal well owners are often small, family-owned businesses that should not be hit with unprecedented, hefty “fees” that are really new taxes on oil and gas. However, that’s exactly what the Biden administration and Democrats plan to do—inflict heavy methane emissions fees that would be detrimental to countless American businesses. That’s why I introduced the Marginal Well Protection Act alongside Sen. Marshall which would block this large tax increase from going into effect on the vast majority of oil and gas producers.” 

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