Biden’s 5-year offshore oil plan to have historically few lease sales, none in 2024, sources say

Biden’s 5-year offshore oil plan to have historically few lease sales, none in 2024, sources s...

The Biden administration’s plan for offshore oil and gas leasing over the next five years will have significant changes. According to three sources familiar with the matter, there will be no sales in 2024, and the following four years will see the lowest number of auctions in the history of the program. This plan comes after months of debate between environmentalists and drilling advocates.

The schedule for leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska for the period of 2024-2028 is set to be released on Friday. This release has faced delays due to disagreements over the policy’s content. Both environmentalists and drilling advocates have been engaged in a battle to shape the plan according to their respective interests.

Compared to a proposal made by the Trump administration in 2018, the final plan will represent a significant reduction. The Trump administration’s proposal included 47 lease sales, including areas in California and the Atlantic. The Biden administration’s plan will deviate from this vision.

However, the Biden administration’s plan falls short of President Joe Biden’s campaign promise to completely end new federal drilling as a measure to combat climate change. Court decisions have mandated the continuation of leasing, and the Inflation Reduction Act of last year made leasing a prerequisite for new offshore wind power lease auctions. President Biden sees offshore wind power as a crucial tool in decarbonizing the economy.

According to one of the sources, the number of oil and gas lease sales in the plan will be the lowest in history. This reduction in leasing will facilitate the rapid expansion of the offshore wind industry, aligning with the Biden administration’s goals.

The Interior Department is legally obligated to create a national oil and gas leasing schedule every five years. However, the previous schedule expired in June 2022, and the program has been without a new plan due to contentious debates. The Biden administration proposed a plan in July last year, which considered zero to 11 lease sales.

The national leasing program has become a symbol of the ongoing debate between politicians, environmentalists, and the oil industry. It represents the tension between the need to limit fossil fuel development to mitigate the impacts of climate change and the importance of maintaining domestic energy supplies and affordable fuel prices.

Before the plan can be approved, it will undergo a 60-day waiting period, during which it will be reviewed by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

The article was written by Jarrett Renshaw and Nichola Groom, with editing by Chris Reese and Marguerita Choy. The reporting adheres to the Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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