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Biden to halt new oil drilling permits on public lands

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President Joe Biden is expected to announce an executive order Wednesday suspending new oil and gas leasing on federal land, The Wall Street Journal reports.

This follows Biden’s 60-day suspension of new drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters announced last week.

During his campaign, Biden pledged to halt new drilling on federal lands and waters and end the leasing of publicly owned energy reserves as part of his plan to address climate change and transition to renewable energy.

Biden is set to suspend new drilling permits to oil companies for wells on federal land indefinitely while the Department of the Interior conducts a review of oil development’s impact on climate change, according to The Journal. While federal land accounts for roughly 9% of onshore U.S. oil production, Biden’s order will have a large impact on states such as New Mexico and Utah where the federal government controls about a third of the state.

The Biden administration has been working quickly to reverse the policies set in place by the Trump administration.

On Biden’s first day in office, he revoked the permit for construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, eliminating over 1,000 jobs.

According to the Keystone XL website, the pipeline project would employ more than 11,000 Americans, including more than 7,000 union workers, in 2021 and generate $1.6 billion in gross wages.

“The early actions of the administration are unilaterally shutting down and restricting the ability of American oil and gas producers to run their operations,” said Anne Bradbury, chief executive of the American Exploration and Production Council, which represents independent U.S. oil companies. “The scope and the lack of consultation with industry stakeholders has been alarming.”

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said “[Biden’s] radical Green New Deal-inspired agenda” will destroy American jobs.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said Biden’s energy policies will cause “$5 a gallon at the pump and higher home energy bills.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix

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Joe Biden

While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.

The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.

“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.

“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”

For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.

National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”

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