Energy Crunch: Biden proposal would mean fewest offshore oil drilling leases in US history
The plan blocks leasing off the Alaskan coast, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Opponents say the White House is ignoring our energy realities and limiting U.S. energy production opportunities.
The Biden administration laid out its offshore oil and gas leasing program for the next five years on Friday morning, with only three Gulf of Mexico lease sales through 2029 -- resulting in the fewest offshore oil drilling leases in U.S. history.
The plan is expected to be finalized by the end of the year. It blocks leasing off the Alaskan coast, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
Under the terms of a 2022 climate law, the government must offer at least 60 million acres of offshore oil and gas leases in any one-year period before it can offer offshore wind leases. The three oil lease sales are the minimum number that can be legally offered if the Biden administration wants to continue expanding offshore wind development, according to the Associated Press.
"The release of the U.S. offshore leasing program, mandated by law and long overdue, is an utter failure for the country," Erik Milito, the president of the National Ocean Industries Association, a trade association specializing in offshore energy, said in a press release.
"President Biden’s approach significantly curtails access to a critical national asset at a time when energy inflation is rampant, the likelihood of a national recession looms, and global efforts are intensifying to curb greenhouse gas emissions," he continued. "The White House simply ignores our energy realities in once again limiting U.S. energy production opportunities."
The proposed plan was also criticized by West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin.
“It makes no sense at all to actively be limiting our energy production," he said in a statement.
The two plans under the Obama administration included more than 10 offshore oil and gas sales each lease, Fox reports.
“The Biden Administration announced its bare-bones offshore five-year leasing program designed to meet the letter of the Inflation Reduction Act law," President of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association Tim Stewart told Just the News.
"This plan will accomplish five specific things: It provides OPEC+ with long-term leverage over the US economy for the next two decades, places millions of Americans well on the road to energy poverty, creates a path forward to provide energy scarcity for all Americans, will raise the cost of 6000 consumer products that rely on petrochemicals as a base ingredient and makes China and Russia happy," he continued. "If these five things were the goal – energy poverty, scarcity, increased costs and keeping our foreign adversaries happy, the Administration has met that goal.”