On Wednesday, Joe Biden’s Department of Interior (DOI) announced that it would be canceling three significant oil and gas lease sales that would have greatly boosted American energy output.
Axios reports that the move all but confirms that the federal government will not be selling any new oil and gas leases for the remainder of 2022, a sharp reversal from the energy dominant policies of the Trump Administration that saw the United States become energy independent for the first time ever, as well as a major exporter of energy.
The DOI released a statement claiming that the cancelation of the sales was due to “lack of industry interest in leasing in the area,” declaring that it “will not move forward with the proposed Cook Inlet OCS oil and gas lease sale 258,” which would have been off the coast of Alaska. The department also confirmed that “it will not move forward with lease sales 259 and 261 in the Gulf of Mexico region, as a result of delays due to factors including conflicting court rulings that impacted work on these proposed lease sales.”
The alarming move from the DOI comes even as gas prices continue to soar to record highs, primarily as a result of Biden’s “green energy” push to cancel numerous other oil and gas leases across the country. Immediately upon coming to power, one of Biden’s first moves was to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada that would have created tens of thousands of jobs, as well as build a stronger energy-based partnership with Canada.
Gas prices have risen even higher following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, although Biden has tried unsuccessfully to blame the entirety of the energy crisis on the war. Biden has also previously voiced his support for lending more oil and gas to European countries so that they are less dependent on Russian energy, although the DOI’s latest decision further reduces the United States’ ability to even produce energy for itself, let alone export energy to other countries.
Far-left environmental activists celebrated the Biden Administration’s decision, with Earthjustice spokesman Drew Caputo claiming, without evidence, that the lease cancelation was “good for the climate, which can’t handle new oil and gas development.” Conversely, Frank Macchiarola of the American Petroleum Institute pointed out that “unfortunately, this is becoming a pattern. The administration talks about the need for more supply and acts to restrict it.”