Biden Administration Pauses New Federal Oil, Gas Leases

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden administration has once again put a pause on new federal oil and gas leases. This decision follows after a judge said the administration cannot use a metric that is aimed at estimating the societal cost of carbon emissions. This isn’t the first time President Biden has issued a pause on new oil and gas leases.  

Biden is keeping climate change in mind as well as his campaign promises too, which he said he would help move the U.S. towards more clean energy practices. Our local congressional representatives are calling the latest pause a foolish decision.

“You’re seeing gas prices go up every day, you’re seeing home heating bills go up each month going through the roof and now you have the instability in the Ukraine with Russia that is adding to the price inflation impact that we’re seeing,” said Rep. Tom Reed (R- NY). “This is hurting real Americans and to see this pandering to the hard left environmentalists is just blatantly wrong and it is so short-sided and it’s all motivated by politics.”

The so-called “social cost of carbon” is the metric they’re using and it’s designed to see the potential economic threats from greenhouse gas emissions and compare that to the economic benefits from things like oil drilling. A handful of republican-led states sued the government over this saying these calculations artificially increase the cost estimates of oil and gas drilling.

Our local congressional reps argues that the U.S. is already using more-clean energy practices compared to other countries and said this pause will hurt the U.S, in the long run.

“It takes American energy to make sure we can build American infrastructure to make sure America can be successful,” said Rep. Fred Keller (R- PA). “And to make sure that we don’t have these bad actors, like Russia and China putting influence on our allies or other countries around the globe. If we want to, if we want to have good climates and we want a safe world, we need American energy.”

Congressman Glenn Thompson also released this statement:

“Despite record high gasoline prices, skyrocketing inflation, and a global energy crunch, the President continues to ignore the fact that domestic energy production can meet the needs of our country and then some. We have an abundance of natural resources in this country and with our allies in Western Europe facing instability, the last thing we need is another attempt by the Biden Administration to undermine America’s energy independence and our ability to be a net exporter on the world market.”

Former President Barrack Obama used this metric as well; estimating that the damage from natural disasters like wildfires, floods and rising sea levels was 51-dollars for every ton of carbon dioxide generated by burning fossil fuels. Former President Donald Trump lowered that number  to around seven-dollars or less per ton. Once Biden took office, he raised that number right back up to 51-dollars.

It’s unclear how much of an impact Biden’s initial pause on new leases have on our economy because economists say it takes time to develop and produce oil from those leases.

The Biden administration is appealing the judge’s decision. They said the judge’s decision necessitated a pause on all projects where the government was using that so-called “social cost of carbon” metric in their decision making.


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