Biden admin resumes oil, gas leases on federal land amid spiking gas prices

BLM noted the amount of land up for lease constituted "an 80 percent reduction from the acreage originally nominated."
US President Joe Biden meets with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda on March 25, 2022 in Rzeszow, Poland.

The Biden administration will resume oil and gas leases on federal land beginning next week, the Interior Department announced Friday.

The Bureau of Land Management has selected about 173 parcels on roughly 144,000 acres for lease and will issue environmental assessments and sale notices starting Monday for new oil and gas projects, according to Fox News.

The agency said the amount of land up for lease is about 80% less than the acreage originally nominated.

The administration has taken several step to try to slow the soaring price of gas since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

President Biden announced in March that he would release 1 million barrels of oil from the United State's Strategic Petroleum Reserve and pinned much of the blame for the rise in prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House has also blamed U.S. oil companies – suggesting they have profited off the invasion-related, global energy shortage and accusing them of not activating wells on publicly leased land. 

Biden shortly after taking office hurt domestic petroleum, critics say, by canceled the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries. 

In March, he reportedly was opening dialogue with rogue regimes in Iran and Venezuela, both critical Russian allies, to bolster their oil production as alternative energy sources from Russian products.

According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gas stands at $4.079, a 42% increase from the previous year average of $2.863 per gallon.