LAFAYETTE, LA – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Energy formally offered to lease space for 30 million barrels of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:

“With the OPEC-Russia oil dumping war and extreme reductions in oil consumption due to the Coronavirus, America’s energy producers are facing a generational crisis. Industry demand for storage has reached a critical point, and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is well-equipped to meet that need. This decision by the Department of Energy will help avert any stoppage in production and save scores of thousands of U.S. jobs while we await a restoration in global demand. This is a lifeline from the Federal government for the oil & gas industry. I am prayerful that the State of Louisiana will participate in helping our cornerstone energy industry survive through these next few crucial months by suspending or adjusting State severance tax burdens.”

“My colleague Congressman Graves has been working tirelessly on SPR leasing. I thank him for his leadership and dedication on behalf of Louisiana’s oil and gas industry.”

Congressman Higgins joined other Gulf Coast lawmakers on a March 20, 2020, letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, asking the administration to consider royalty relief. He also sent a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards on March 23, 2020, encouraging a temporary decrease or halt to Louisiana’s severance tax.

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