The Biden administration’s announcement on April 15 concerning the “resumption” of federal oil and gas leasing was among the most dishonest, cynical, and toxically politicized announcements ever made in a city notorious for its duplicity, cynicism, and toxic partisanship.
The federal government announced the announcement in response to a federal court order to resume leasing ten months earlier, wrote Attorney and aid to multiple presidents William Perry Pendley for Breitbart on Saturday.
The Mineral Leasing Act requires the federal government, specifically the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which oversees 245 million acres of surface and 700 million acres of the mineral estate, to conduct quarterly sales of oil and gas leases on lands that are not otherwise off-limits to that activity.
President Biden halted the sales during his first week in office, but a federal district judge in Louisiana determined that the “pause” was unlawful on June 14, 2021.
The Biden administration filed an appeal and stated that it was making efforts to comply with the judge’s decision, but the latter was taken slowly. Thus, the West, which contains the majority of BLM holdings, entered its sixth quarter without a lease auction just a few days ago.
That was only the beginning. Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, pushed for onerous rules to make energy production more expensive, and fought against oil and gas companies’ ability to acquire finance. The cost of energy began to rise.
In response, Biden went hat-in-hand with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela, pleading with them to raise their production rather than us in the West. Biden used the Strategic Petroleum Reserve twice. Despite this, energy prices continued to rise, and Americans blamed Biden.
As a result, on Good Friday, Biden reversed a campaign commitment to prohibit oil and gas leasing on public lands.
Progressives who are shocked by Biden’s decision have either not read the fine print or are complicit in the deception, explained Pendley, as Biden reduced 80% of the land available for leasing and raised the cost of operating those leases by 50%, observed Pendley. Biden is doing what radical environmentalists desire when they demand that we “leave” fossil resources “in the ground” without saying so.