Biden has listed climate change as one of his top priorities, repeatedly saying climate change is the “existential crisis” of our time.
Biden’s proposed bans could have serious implications for the oil and gas industry in states like Wyoming, Pennsylvania and New Mexico — where federal oil and gas development is prominent.
Experts say it will be difficult to completely ban fossil leasing, permitting and fracking on federal land. Oil and gas economies are likely to fight any attempt by the Biden administration to end production on public land.
Gale Norton, George W. Bush’s Interior secretary from 2001 to 2006, said the political will to implement these priorities will have to be strong enough to fend off entrenched opposition from states and industries affected by a threat to revenue, E&E News reported last month.
The Biden administration will have to overcome legal and political hurdles to go through with banning new oil and gas permits on federal land, given existing laws and the large amounts of money that drilling royalties generate for the federal and state governments.
Environmental activists are adamant that they will hold the Biden administration accountable to follow through with their promises to tackle the “existential crisis” of climate change.
Tom Sansonetti, former Interior solicitor during the George H.W. Bush administration, said the likelihood of the proposals will depend on who Biden places in positions at Interior.
“I don’t think President Biden knows the details of fracking,” Sansonetti said. “I doubt that he’s ever been on an oil rig. The people in the White House that really have strong feelings about this, they will be the ones that end up shoving that particular policy down the pipeline.”
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White House Confirms It Is Looking Into Shutting Down Oil Pipeline Amid Fuel Crisis
The Biden administration confirmed that it is considering shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan despite the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.
“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked about the report during Monday’s press briefing, asking, “why is the administration now considering shutting down the Line 5 pipeline from Canada to Michigan?”
“So, Peter, that is inaccurate,” Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed. “That is not right. So, any reporting indicating that some decision has been made, again, is not accurate. … So, again, I would — it is inaccurate what you just stated, but —”
“What’s inaccurate?” Doocy asked.
“The reporting about us wanting to shut down the Line 5,” Jean-Pierre said.
“I didn’t say ‘wanting.’ I said, is it being studied right now? Is the administration studying the impact of shutting down the Line 5?”
“Yeah. Yes, we are. We are,” Jean-Pierre admitted.
DOOCY: "Is the administration studying the impact of shutting down the Line 5?"
JEAN-PIERRE: "Yes we are." pic.twitter.com/V5XKhgcmAJ
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) November 8, 2021
The news comes as gas prices have reached their highest since 2014, when Biden was vice president, and are currently about 50% higher than they were when Biden entered office.
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