Biden to halt new oil drilling permits on public lands

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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