Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming pressured a Biden official Tuesday over President Joe Biden’s past statements on U.S. oil drilling.

President Biden claims that he is allowing drilling, yet at the same time says to his Democrat base, "No more drilling."

So which is it?

Barrasso put up both statements from the President on a whiteboard and asked:

“When was he lying, which was the lie? Because clearly the president is lying,” Barrasso asked Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau. “Which one?”

President Biden denied that he blocked energy production on federal lands on June 22, calling the claim “nonsense.”

But Months later, The president said, “there is no more drilling” during a Nov. 7 rally in front of his supporters in New York.

This is a case where someone working for the president is caught in a tough situation. Interior Department official Beaudreau did his best to find an answer.

“So, Senator, I think, as you know, production on public lands both onshore and offshore has not stopped,” Beaudreau said in response. “In fact, in this administration, production levels — and this is just EIA information — has increased on public lands to over a billion barrels a year.”

Beaudreau went on to say that the Biden administration was not blocking drilling on public lands.

In the meantime, Governor Gordon of Wyoming along with several other Western states is suing the Biden administration over canceled oil leases. 

But the Biden administration had canceled a planned offshore oil and gas lease sale in May, announced new limits on offshore drilling on July 1, and revoked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in January 2021.

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David McNew, Getty Images

Also, just because a company has a lease to drill does not mean that they can. They then have to navigate through about a decades worth of bureaucracy and lawsuits. Even then there is no guarantee that they will be allowed to drill for what they bought that lease for.

But let's go back to what Mr. Beaudreau said:

“So, Senator, I think, as you know, production on public lands both onshore and offshore has not stopped,”

“So then the president is lying when he says ‘no more drilling, there is no more drilling.’ That’s a direct lie into the camera, to the American people by the president of the United States,” Barrasso said.

Again, Mr. Beaudreau is cornered and is looking for a way out.

“So I don’t, you know, I can’t comment on a quote sort of out of context, but clearly there is ongoing drilling on public lands as well as production,” Beaudreau replied.

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