US proposes new oil & gas lease sales

 Washington Examiner:

The Biden administration is proposing to hold new oil and gas lease sales in a loss for Democrats and environmental groups who want to see an end to offshore drilling.

The Interior Department belatedly proposed an offshore leasing program to succeed the current plan, which expired Thursday, providing for between zero and a maximum 11 new lease sales between 2023 and 2028.


Interior's proposed program includes 10 potential sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one in Alaska.

The inclusion of potential lease sales in the proposed program does not guarantee those sales will be included in the final program, nor does the inclusion of a given lease sale in the final program mean that sale will ultimately be carried out, a point Secretary Deb Haaland emphasized in a statement Friday.

"A Proposed Program is not a decision to issue specific leases or to authorize any drilling or development," Haaland said.

The department made the same point in a legal brief filed on Monday, saying that "during the course of every prior five-year program, Interior has used its discretion to hold fewer sales than contemplated by the applicable program."

In May, Interior canceled the lone Alaska lease sale that was included in the expiring five-year program, as well as the two remaining Gulf lease sales.

The proposed program is not final, but it runs counter to President Joe Biden's campaign promises to end new leasing offshore drilling.

Biden has been under immense pressure from climate change activists and some Democrats to fulfill that promise and to restrict oil and gas development more aggressively on federal lands as a means to abate climate change.

Green groups and some congressional Democrats have lobbied the administration to propose a five-year program that excludes lease sales altogether in order to avoid additional greenhouse gas emissions.

At the same time, the administration has been facing competing pressures to help alleviate high energy prices and make the U.S. more independent of foreign energy sources.


Big green is a threat to US energy security and national security.  They have exerted significant pressure on the Biden administration which has led to an increased cost of energy for Americans. Haaland sounds like she is already hedging on the commitment to increase domestic production.  She was a terrible appointment but it is obvious that she was just what Biden wanted.

See, also:

Biden administration unveils oil and gas drilling plans, gutting Trump-era framework

The federal government is required to periodically hold offshore oil and gas lease sales under a 1953 law


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