Biden administrators begin lease sales on federal land

Oilfield Pumping Unit

The U.S. Department of the Interior will restart sales of oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands this week for the first time since President Joe Biden took office and after his campaign promise to end new federal fossil fuel leases.start Wednesday and Thursdayaccording to a report, more than 140,000 acres of federal land in eight states will be sold to the oil industry. DOI Press Release.

The vast majority of the new lease area is located in Wyoming, 131,771 acres can be snapped up, according to DOI. other states New federal drilling lands are available in Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico.

“By leasing more of our public lands to oil companies, President Biden has reneged on a campaign promise and seriously lacks the global leadership needed to avoid catastrophic climate change,” Tyler McKinnonpublic lands activists at the nonprofit Center for Biodiversity, in a statement emailed to Gizmodo.

We know that day is coming. In April, the DOI said it would Advancing onshore rental sales. The agency called the announcement one of the environmentally conscious reforms. It raised royalties (paid into the tax pool by oil companies) to 18.75% from 12.5% ​​previously, and only agreed to auction 20% of designated land.

At the same time, fossil fuel companies were also unhappy with the announcement. “We’re worried about the reduction in available packages, we’re worried about the increase in royalties,” said Frank Macchiarolaan executive at the American Petroleum Institute, in a statement to Mt.

Far from a “major reform” Environmental advocates hope scientists say what we need to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.One study Research published earlier this year found that fossil fuels extracted from federal lands have accounted for almost 25 percent of total U.S. emissions since 2005.

At the same time, the oil and gas industry is maintaining Nearly half of the land they lease is idle; Fossil fuel companies are not entirely in short supply, although PR claims to the contrary. Termination of new leases will be an important signal that the government is serious about enabling the energy transition and may not Impact on current oil oil lease do not result in an immediate increase in production, as they usually developed for the better part of a decade.

It’s a move the government was once eager to take.During the campaign, Biden promise to stop New oil and gas leases on public land.He even signed early executive orders At the office, suspend rental plans for review.But since then, his government approve more There are more drilling permits on federal land than his predecessor, and the president has public defense Arctic drilling.The Biden administration claimed in November that he was legally forced to restart oil and gas leases, but then filed documents from Justice Department December Otherwise recommended.

“We’re running out of time, and our climate cannot afford any new fossil fuel development,” McKinnon said.

May, legal battle stop earlier Planned offshore lease sales. Courts blocked auctions in the Gulf of Mexico and Cook Inlet, Alaska.A group of environmental groups, including the Centre for Biological Diversity, have file a lawsuit Challenge new sales starting today.The lawsuit alleges that the lease approval violated National Environmental Policy Act and Federal Land Policy and Administration ActBoth have long existed.

oil advocates and some politicians Claims that more domestic drilling is needed to deal with rising fuel prices, but any new leasehold land will not be ready to actually produce fuel for many years. At the same time, businesses like Exxon and Chevron As people continue to be squeezed by the pump, they report huge profits.

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