Oil search leases have been in the news. They were canceled the opened and now canceled again.
Citing conflicting court rulings on the subject, the Biden administration has canceled a pair of upcoming offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. A Department of the Interior statement confirmed the federal government “will not move forward” with the two Gulf leases “as a result of delays due to factors including conflicting court rulings that impacted work on these proposed lease sales.” The Department of the Interior also canceled sale for the Cook Inlet in Alaska “due to a lack of industry interest in leasing the area.” President Joe Biden has taken aim at oil and gas leases on public lands and waters ever since he took office in January 2021. As part of a climate change agenda intended to curb drilling, Biden issued an executive order halting the leases, saying they needed further environmental review.theadvocate.com
There have been court cases as the oil states AG’s have taken the government to court and accused the president of killing oil.
Republican attorneys general sued, including Louisiana’s Jeff Landry. The attorneys general won an injunction from a federal judge in Lafayette that paved the way for a November lease sale in the Gulf, but another federal judge in Washington invalidated the sale. A federal appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday heard arguments on whether Biden legally suspended the sale. Future onshore lease sales are on tap, but the Biden administration has scaled back the amount of land available and raised the royalty rates for the sales. Biden also attempted to raise the cost estimate for greenhouse gas emissions, which guide federal policy for oil and gas and other industries. A federal judge in Lake Charles struck down the higher estimate, but an appeals court sided with Biden. Amid that court battle, a filing from the U.S. Department of Justice indicated leases had already been delayed.
This is a conflicted time with climate change saying cut back and the war in Ukraine saying more energy to Europe.
Biden’s latest move comes at a turbulent time for the U.S. energy sector. A United Nations report says the continued effects of climate change could wreak havoc on the world, especially Louisiana, but record high gas prices due to a variety of geopolitical factors — including Russia’s war on Ukraine — are hurting Americans’ wallets. The lease sales offer up federal lands and waters for drilling. In the Gulf of Mexico, companies bid for spots as far as about 200 miles away from the Louisiana coastline. Louisiana officials swiftly condemned the cancellation, calling it an attack on American energy and the state’s oil and gas-dependent economy at the worst possible time. U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, said in an interview that Biden’s energy policies continue to be “stupid” and “reckless.” He claimed Biden is the only president in modern history to block oil and gas lease sales. “When you have record gasoline prices, you have one in every five Americans who can’t even afford to pay their electricity bills, you would think that necessity, even if it’s a reversal on their part … would drive decisions,” Graves said. “To see them doubling and tripling down … I never would have thought that they would have done something as boneheaded as this,” he added. U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, said in a statement the Biden administration is “actively” making prices at the pump worse. “When we need to unleash American energy production, the Biden administration kills opportunities at every turn,” Cassidy said in a statement. “The administration’s actions over the past year and a half have been an all-out assault on American energy, Louisiana jobs, and families’ pocketbooks.”
Sen Cassidy has put forth a plan for ramping up energy production taking the Trump term Warp Speed.
Cassidy has published an “Operation Warp Speed” outline for ramping up domestic production. His suggestions include simplifying the regulatory process, building up oil and gas reserves, investing in technologies like carbon capture and expediting exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, and other fuels. The name is a reference to the Trump administration’s plan to speed up production of vaccines to fight COVID-19. But Graves said an overhaul of the process isn’t necessary. He said the Gulf already has the infrastructure in place — and more than enough demand from drillers — for production to easily tick upward. “All we have to do is go back and do what President Obama did, go back and do what President Trump did, go back and do what President Clinton did,” he said. Mike Moncla, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, said the administration has caused “absolute devastation” to the energy industry. “It is nothing short of hypocritical that the Biden administration bans Russian energy imports, while at the same time doing everything it can to stop any and all future production in the Gulf of Mexico,” Moncla said in a statement.
If I remember right, there are leases in the Gulf which have not been used. Why is this killing energy when there are undrilled leases?