Biden Blamed for Oil Lease Sale, but a Trump Judge Opened the Door

November 18, 2021

A lot of hyperventilating about a oil/gas sale this week, one that was initially blocked by the Biden administration, then allowed by a (I’m told Trump appointee) judge.
In any case, the real work is to continue moving forward with EV infrastructure and doing good communication on the advantages off a decarbonized economy.

Unfortunately you have to read at least halfway down in the press accounts to get the fuller picture.


Once in office, Biden quickly moved to realize at least part of this vision, calling a temporary halt to the issuance of oil and gas drilling permits across America’s vast publicly owned lands and ocean territory pending a review into how they are conducted.

Experts have said that the development of new oil and gas fields must stop this year if the world is to avoid more disastrous heatwaves, floods and other climate impacts, with fossil fuel production on America’s public lands causing around a quarter of the country’s overall greenhouse gas pollution.

However, the oil and gas industries immediately objected to Biden’s move, claiming it imperiled jobs and risked pushing up energy prices, and a dozen states sued to lift the moratorium. In June, a federal judge in Louisiana agreed with the states and found that the government hadn’t taken the required steps to pause new leases.

This courtroom setback has forced the Gulf of Mexico sale, according to the Biden administration. A spokeswoman for the Department of the Interior said it is “complying” with the court ruling while also appealing it and devising a better system to measure the emissions impact of oil and gas lease sales.

Jen Psaki, Biden’s press secretary, said on Monday: “It’s a legal case and legal process, but it’s important for advocates and other people out there who are following this to understand that it’s not aligned with our view, the president’s policies, or the executive order that he signed.”

But legal experts say the court decision doesn’t, in itself, prevent the administration from stopping or delaying a scheduled lease sale, or from scaling it back.

“The Louisiana opinion doesn’t force the administration to move forward with any particular lease sale – the Department of Interior still has discretion over that,” said Max Sarinsky, a senior attorney at the New York University School of Law. “If they were to postpone, I’m almost certain they would be sued by oil and gas interests, but that’s another matter.”


4 Responses to “Biden Blamed for Oil Lease Sale, but a Trump Judge Opened the Door”

  1. jimbills Says:

    Well, the Biden Administration shouldn’t be let off the hook here. They could have stopped it. They’d likely have been sued, but what’s more important – getting sued or slowing climate change?

    Additionally, Biden already averages more oil permits per month than the Trump Administration did:

    (See the graph towards the middle.)

    Biden promised no more offshore drilling in his campaign. So a judge ruled against that, but he should show a little backbone. It’s in his power to slow permits and put a halt to the oil leases, and he isn’t. This is the problem with centrist Democrats – this matter wouldn’t be a question with an actual liberal. They’d just do it.

  2. You really think society can just ditch oil and carry on? This is yet more ignorance of how fossil fuels prop up “renewables.” Biden surely knows it but can’t admit it. Wind farms, driven by an unreliable force, are rarely far from backup power, usually natural gas, which comes from the F-word wind shills claim to resent.


    The CMO unit is vital because people make wild claims about wind & solar with a poor understanding of their limits, despite physicists trying to tell them. They use these claims to justify a huge build-out that’s destroying open space.

    Naive progressives view themselves as against fuels they’re actually stuck with. It’s like railing against society while quietly accepting food stamps to stay alive. Conservatives do similar things when they accept Federal funding to prop up local counties while preaching about “small government.”

    Prediction for this decade: When shale fracking peaks, the global oil deficit will cripple “renewables” construction and reveal them as hopium. The Mark Jacobson fan club will run out of clever comebacks as physical limits get obvious. Turbine trucker: “We ain’t even got the diesel to haul one blade to that farm!”

  3. jimbills Says:

    Sale has happened:
    Newsweek: Oil Industry Celebrates Gulf of Mexico Auction as 1.7 Million Acres Sold for Drilling.

    The leases were sold for $200 million – a drop in the bucket for both that industry and U.S. government. It takes about 7-10 years for the leases to be developed and start extraction, so that’s now baked into the cake for about 2030.

    There was an interesting Guardian article yesterday:

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