(RepublicanReport.org) – One of President Joe Biden’s critical strategies in the fight against climate change is the stoppage of new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. He affected this change via executive order in January, directing the Interior Department not to hand out any such leases until further notice and to undertake a review of any existing licenses to produce fossil fuels.
The Courts Have Their Say
However, he’s run he’s legal trouble with this policy. In June, a federal judge in Louisiana blocked Biden’s ban on issuBiden’s leases following a lawsuit from 13 GOP state attorneys general, requiring the administration to start handing them out once again. That development saw the sale of leases resume in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. In his judgment on the matter, Judge Terry Doughty pointed out that jobs, local restoration projects, and vast amounts of money were at stake in the discussion around fossil fuel leases.
The Latest Drilling Ban
Despite concerns about oil prices, legal difficulties, and pushback from the industry, Biden is still doing what he can to stop new drilling. On Monday, November 15, during a White House tribal nations summit, the president announced a two-decade drilling ban in the areas around New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon. The move wouMexico’sany drilling from taking place within a 10-mile radius of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a native of New Mexico, is personally close to this project. She says it’s an important development for indigenous communities who have lived on the land for generations.
However, those in the energy industry appear to have adopted a different view on matters. Robert McEntyre, a spokesman for the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association, suggested there was no real environmental benefit to the rule as it stands currently. He said the requirement for drilling operations not to get within 10 miles of the park boundaries was arbitrary. McEntyre noted that oil and gas companies did not want to start drilling in the actual park itself.
President Donald Trump had no such qualms about drilling near parks like this. The Trump administration’s Interior Department facilitated the drilling of more than 2,300 oil and gas wells in the area around Chaco Canyon.
So, with energy costs continuing to climb higher and higher, will Joe Biden change tack? Or will he keep making it more difficult for energy companies to drill to help maintain low energy prices?
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