U.S. House Office of Photograpy

There is not an oil well they do not love.

Fossil fuel advocates in Congress, including U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, are taking swings at the Biden administration for a recent disclosure in federal court that the next long-term plan for federal offshore oil and gas leasing won’t be ready until late this year. Though the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022 forced the Biden administration to hold two oil and gas lease sales this year, the Department of the Interior has yet to release a finalized five-year plan after the last one expired in mid-2022. Interior released a preliminary plan in July, right around the previous plan’s expiration, that calls for anywhere from zero to 11 lease sales, but public comment for that draft ended in October. However, Interior officials, in a separate federal court case, said Monday the updated five-year plan won’t be ready until December.


Many of the leases have not even been drilled on but that does not matter we want more drilling ares.

The American Petroleum Institute, along with a host of other oil and gas lobbying organizations, filed a federal lawsuit back in 2021 to force a faster release of the newest five-year plan. A district court judge has yet to rule on that case, but API and the other groups have already filed preliminary documents for an appeal should the lower court rule against them. In response to API’s preliminary appeal motions, Interior officials said the agency is “proceeding expeditiously” to update the next five-year plan by December. That would come about three months after API’s demand for a September release. The December target drew a rebuke from Scalise, the House Majority Leader and a Republican from Jefferson Parish. Scalise said the Biden administration has “no regard for its legal obligation” to release a five-year offshore leasing plan. “In yet another blow to American energy security, the Biden administration delivered a gut punch to American families and small businesses that rely on affordable energy by delaying once again the next five-year offshore leasing plan, which now marks an 18-month delay,” Scalise said in a statement.

Are we in a time of no fuel?

The “unprecedented lapse” of the five-year plan has created too much uncertainty for the fossil fuel industry, said Tommy Faucheux, president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. “We need clear guidelines from the administration and a robust leasing program in place to establish a clear path to American energy security and meet American energy needs with stable, reliable and affordable energy,” Faucheux said in a statement. Interior’s admission also drew the ire of Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat whose push for fossil fuel support in the Inflation Reduction Act served as a linchpin for the legislation’s successful passage last year. “Monday night, the Department of the Interior made it painfully clear — again — that they are putting their radical climate agenda ahead of our nation’s energy security, and they are willing to go to great lengths to do it,” Manchin said in a statement.

Is this too much complaining when the leases will eventually be opened for the companies?

Officials from Friends of the Earth, an environmental group, said Manchin’s anger is “laughable” because of the “dirty energy giveaways” provided by the Inflation Reduction Act.” “Economic realities — not regulation — are responsible for any supposed slowdown,” Nicole Ghio, senior fossil fuels program Manager at Friends of the Earth, said in a statement. “For the sake of our planet, the Biden administration must not give into Manchin on behalf of Big Oil. Instead, it should evaluate the true costs of offshore drilling and issuing a five-year plan with no new oil and gas leases.”

With more renewables there is less need for new oil fields.

Why not drill every place
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