Today, the Interior Department (DOI) released its five-year plan (2024-2029) for offshore oil and gas lease sales. In a press release, the agency proudly boasts, “The Proposed Final Program includes a maximum of three potential oil and gas lease sales – the fewest oil and gas lease sales in history – in the Gulf of Mexico Program Area scheduled in 2025, 2027 and 2029.”
To provide context, according to a Reuters article, “Since 1992, no five-year plan has had fewer than 11 lease sales and most have had 15 to 20, according to data from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.” The Trump administration’s five-year plan proposed 47 lease sales.
DOI has had a busy month restricting the availability of reliable energy.
At the start of the month, the Biden administration announced the cancellation of seven oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that were issued by the Trump administration to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.
On September 8th, DOI published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would limit oil and gas leasing in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). Similar to today’s announcement happily proclaiming that the Biden administration is going to limit offshore oil and gas lease sales, the agency stated that this new Alaska rule “would establish an outright prohibition on any new leasing in 10.6 million acres, more than 40 percent of the NPR-A.”
Over the last 20 months, regular retail gas prices have been $3.50 per gallon or higher an incredible 16 times. The last time the price was $3.50 or more was in 2014. We are seeing record or near-record monthly gas prices.
So as Americans are feeling the pain at the pump, the Biden administration is proudly telling Americans about its unprecedented actions that will only help to ensure a more painful future.
The administration apparently thinks that its radical climate agenda is more important than Americans having reliable and affordable energy. And the negative impact from this agenda, such as higher prices across the economy or disproportionate harm to the poor, are costs that Americans should be forced to endure.
Congress needs to push back and it needs to make this a top priority. Energy is the lifeblood of our economy and it impacts every facet of our lives. Policymakers need to use everything in their policy arsenal to combat the Biden administration’s war on energy, including getting rid of this unprecedented and harmful restriction on offshore oil and gas lease sales.