“You Can’t Fix Stupid”… Biden Pauses New Oil & Gas Leasing on Federal Lands and Waters

Guest “you can’t fix stupid” by David Middleton

We knew this was coming…

Biden Hits ‘Pause’ On Oil And Gas Leasing On Public Lands And Waters
January 27, 2021
NATHAN ROTT, SCOTT DETROW, ALANA WISE

In an effort to slow the nation’s contribution to climate change, President Biden has signed an executive order to begin halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.

The much-anticipated move is one of several executive actions the president took on Wednesday to address the worsening climate crisis and the broader decline of the natural world, but it won’t come without pushback.

[…]

The oil and gas industry, hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to challenge the move, as are fossil-fuel rich Western states whose economies are closely linked to extractive industry on public lands.

Anticipating the move, Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, which represents oil and gas companies in many Western states, said: “We’ll be in court shortly thereafter.”

Fossil fuel extraction on federal lands generates billions of dollars in royalties and revenues for local and state economies. But it’s also responsible for nearly a quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and the Biden administration appears to be serious about cutting the country’s outsized contribution to global warming.

[…]

Biden’s halt on new oil and gas leasing also does nothing to affect activities on private or state lands, where roughly 90% of the country’s oil and gas development occurs.

“The industry has a lot of leases in production, a lot of leases that have been issued, so it won’t have an immediate impact. But it will give an immediate opportunity for the administration to think about how we move forward,” said Nada Culver, the vice president of public lands at the National Audubon Society.

[…]

“Ending permitting would be extremely difficult,” said Rebecca Watson, who served as assistant secretary for lands and minerals management at the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush. “You have sold a property right, a lease, so you’ve paid for a lease and then you can’t develop it. I think there would be lawsuits and, rightly so, over a move like that.”

A permanent leasing ban would also be subject to lawsuits, she said. Under the Mineral Leasing Act, the government is required to hold quarterly lease sales. The Biden administration could make fewer or all lands unavailable for leasing, but Watson thinks a court might find that illegal.

Mark Squillace, a law professor at the University of Colorado who worked at Interior under the Clinton and Carter administrations, agrees that a permanent ban would run into more problems than a temporary pause. But he thinks the administration can make a big statement with its immediate actions.

[…]

NPR

This is perhaps the dumbest thing ever written:

Fossil fuel extraction on federal lands generates billions of dollars in royalties and revenues for local and state economies. But it’s also responsible for nearly a quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and the Biden administration appears to be serious about cutting the country’s outsized contribution to global warming. generates billions of dollars in royalties and revenues for local and state economies. But it’s also responsible for nearly a quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and the Biden administration appears to be serious about cutting the country’s outsized contribution to global warming.

Fossil fuel extraction on federal lands” is not “responsible for nearly a quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.” Only an idiot could claim it was. And only a total fracking moron would link to a USGS report that proves their idiocy:

For the emissions portion of this study, we estimated the greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, CH4, and N2O) resulting from the extraction and end-use combustion of fossil fuels derived from U.S. Federal lands, including offshore areas…

USGS

Almost all of the emissions come from the “end-use combustion of fossil fuels.” Neither a pause nor a permanent ending of mineral leasing on Federal lands and waters would affect the total volume of oil & gas being extracted globally, nor would it affect the total volume of emissions from the “end-use combustion of fossil fuels.” It will just shift more of the extraction to private & state leases… and to places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and Russia.

NPR: You win the Mother-of-All Ron White Awards.

NOIA Response to Biden’s Unlawful Action

Biden Oil & Gas Leasing “Pause” Regresses Emissions, Climate Progress
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Washington, D.C. – National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito issued the following statement in response to the Biden Administration’s Executive Order establishing a moratorium of new oil and gas leasing: 

This decision is contrary to law and puts America on a path toward increased imports from foreign nations that have been characterized as pollution havens. Any pause of American energy opportunities will do untold harm towards American economic, energy and environmental progress. Reducing American offshore oil and gas development means lost jobs, increased greenhouse gas emissions and less funding for outdoor parks and recreation activities for urban, underprivileged communities. There is no shortage of negative consequences from this leasing pause.

“The Gulf of Mexico is an American strategic asset, driving hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment across every U.S. state. Billions of dollars are generated for Federal, state and local governments. The Land & Water Conservation Fund, and the host of climate-mitigating and environmental justice programs it provides for, receives virtually its entire funding from offshore oil and gas revenues, including new lease bids. This decision could also hamper long-term energy affordability.  As Americans continue to rely upon all sources of energy for maintaining a high standard of living, reduced supplies can put upward pressure on prices.

“While the executive order is framed as a step towards a climate solution, it pauses energy opportunities in a region that is already addressing climate and emissions goals. Gulf of Mexico production has a carbon intensity one half of other producing regions and the deepwater has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of any source of oil and gas production. The innovators that define America’s offshore energy industry are already contributing to the continued advancement of climate change solutions.

The Department of the Interior has a legal obligation to expeditiously develop America’s energy resources. Instead of fulfilling this obligation and capitalizing on an American environmental and emissions success story, this decision delivers an opportunity to China and Russia. As China and Russia seize jobs and investment, their energy, which is produced without the same level of regulations and standards as the U.S., could very well win permanent geopolitical importance to the detriment of the climate and the environment.”

Additional Content
In May 2020, the National Ocean Industries Association released the report, The Economic Impacts of the Gulf of Mexico Oil & Natural Gas Industry Report. Prepared by Energy & Industrial Advisory Partners, the report examines the economic impact of Gulf of Mexico leasing or permitting bans. Below is the study and National and State Fact Sheets:

The Economic Impacts of the Gulf of Mexico Oil & Natural Gas Industry Report
National Economic Impacts One Pager
State Employment Impacts One Pager

National Ocean Industries Association

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January 27, 2021 at 08:55PM

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