Biden’s Latest Oil & Gas Drilling ‘Compromise’
Later this month, Biden has announced that the US would restart oil and gas drilling on federal lands, offering leases for sale to fossil fuel producers later this year. The new leases would open some 144,000 acres of federal land, scattered across nine states, to oil and gas drilling. According to Michael Freeman, a senior attorney at Earthjustice, “these leases are going to cause billions of dollars in social and environmental harm. Watching these lease sales move forward is particularly puzzling given Biden’s consistent promises on the campaign trail to end all oil and gas drilling on federal lands.” For a while, it looked like the administration was set to keep those promises: As one of his first acts as president, Biden issued an executive order pausing the oil and gas leasing program, including accounting for the “climate costs” of the program. A coalition of oil and gas-friendly states promptly launched a lawsuit against the order, and a judge sided with those states last June.