Biden Administration Quietly Moving to Undermine Fossil Fuels

Biden Administration Quietly Moving to Undermine Fossil Fuels

February 9, 2022

Since killing the Keystone XL pipeline on day one of his administration, it has been clear that President Biden would actively work to undermine the use of reliable and affordable fossil fuels. Sometimes, as with the Keystone pipeline, this takes the form of active efforts. In other cases, however, the administration passively drags its feet to get its desired policy results.

This is the case with fossil fuels exploration on federal lands. The Biden administration attempted to place a moratorium on new federal lease sales, but that action was ultimately repudiated by a federal court. So then, the administration moved as slowly as possible until another federal court ordered them to action.

Last month, yet another federal court found that Biden’s Interior Department had relied on a flawed environmental review before its sale of federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico last year. Not surprisingly, the administration seems to have lost interest in appealing this ruling.

Fortunately, this week the American Petroleum Institute did file an appeal of the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals. As Politico reports, API is making the arguments that the Biden administration should be – but isn’t:

“At a time of rising energy costs and heightened geopolitical tensions, the misguided decision to cancel the only lease sale held last year is contributing to significant uncertainty for U.S. natural gas and oil producers and limiting access to the affordable, reliable energy that’s needed here in the U.S. and around the world,” API Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs Frank Macchiarola said in a statement. “We call on the Department of Interior to join us in this effort and appeal the court’s ruling, which overlooked the comprehensive environmental analysis that the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management conducted as part of the NEPA process prior to the lease sale, including careful consideration of the emissions impacts of reasonable alternatives.”

The Interior Department declined to comment on whether they would support the appeal. But the administration’s (in)action speaks louder than words.