Biden Approves Largest Oil, Gas Lease Sale in US History, Steamrolls ECO Review With Inflation Bill

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Biden signed Tuesday’s Inflation Reduction Act, which effectively pushed aside the need to have an environmental review.

Many provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act are green energy and are opposed by the fossil fuel industry. The bill does however require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to take steps to increase fossil fuel production on federal land within 30 days of its enactment. Lease Sale 257 was an immense offshore oil and gas sale that covered 80.8 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico.

Erik Milito of the National Ocean Industries Association stated that there should not be any doubts regarding the issuance of leases for Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales 257.

He stated, “Congress has acted. The leases should now be issued, and the lawsuit must be dropped. ”

The DOI held the November lease sale. The DOI held the November lease sale. It attracted over $191 million in bids for the 308 tracts of fossil fuel company land. This was despite opposition from prominent Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups. In January, a federal court blocked the sale of the lease. They claimed that the Biden administration failed to properly assess the impact on climate.

The Biden administration decided in March not to appeal the court’s decision. An appeals panel from the federal government is continuing to hear the case.

Frank Macchiarola, API’s senior vice-president for policy, economics, and regulatory affairs, stated that although reinstating lease sale 257 was an important step in American energy leadership it is not enough to meet America’s long-term fuel needs.

Last Wednesday, the API and other industry organizations wrote a letter urging the House to reject the legislation. They were especially critical of the inclusions of a corporate minimum, natural gasoline tax, and a tax for crude oil.

Prominent Democrats opposed to new fossil fuel leases on federal land or waters also supported the Inflation Reduction Act. This is despite their criticisms regarding Lease Sale 257.

“After the disastrous sale of leases, was rightfully revoked,” Raul Gailva (D-Arizona), House Natural Resources Committee Chairman, said in March. After the administration had decided not to appeal the Blockade on Lease Sale 257, they could appeal or continue supporting the policies of the former administration. Or would they accept the ruling to follow federal environmental law and seize the rare opportunity for the Interior Department’s offshore leasing program to be aligned with climate science?

“The administration made the right decision. ”

The Inflation Reduction Act also requires that the Biden administration holds three offshore lease sales. It had already canceled them in May. It also links new renewable energy leasing to mandatory onshore oil and gas leasing.