Guest “we told you so” by David Middleton
This is not related to the 60-day procedural mortarium currently in place.
While this is based on anonymous sources, I did hear rumors of something even worse than this on Friday, and it’s inline with what we were expecting… (For readers who don’t know, I am a petroleum geologist/geophysicist and have been working the Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico since 1988).
Biden prepares to end new oil and coal leases on federal land
By JENNIFER A. DLOUHY AND ARI NATTER on 1/21/2021
WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) –President Joe Biden is poised to suspend the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land, which accounts for about a tenth of U.S. supplies, according to four people familiar with the matter.
The moratorium, which would also freeze coal leasing, is set to be unveiled along with a raft of other climate policies next week, according to the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss plans not yet public. The moratorium is separate from a 60-day leasing and permitting pause ordered Wednesday, two people said.
The move would block the sale of new mining and drilling rights across some 700 million acres of federal land. It could also block offshore oil and gas leasing, though details are still being developed, some of the people said.
Spokesmen for the White House and Interior Department, which overseas leasing on federal land, declined to comment.
Oil industry leaders and politicians from the Western U.S. have warned the move could harm some local economies where drilling and mining flourishes — while crippling U.S. energy production to the detriment of American consumers. The Western Energy Alliance, which battled Obama-era rules targeting oil drilling, has vowed to immediately go to court to challenge any leasing ban.
“Blocking American companies from accessing our country’s natural resources is bad for American jobs, bad for state budgets and bad for national security. It also raises serious legal concerns,” said Anne Bradbury, chief executive of the American Exploration and Production Council.
Federal lands and waters together accounted for 22% of total U.S. oil production and 12% of U.S. natural gas production in 2019, according to the Energy Information Administration. Onshore federal lands provide about 8% of the nation’s oil and 9% of its natural gas, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Data for 2020 are not yet available.
Oil industry advocates argue that drilling blockades do nothing to stifle emissions — just shift that crude production elsewhere. “The world is still going to need natural gas and oil under any scenario for a long time,” said Dan Naatz, senior vice president with the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “A leasing ban is just going to ship that production to Saudi Arabia, to Russia, where there are far less stringent environmental controls.”
While idiotic, such a move might actually be legal and would be far less damaging than a totally illegal refusal to approve permits for existing leases. It would simply result in the US importing about 1 million bbl/d more from Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran by the end of this decade.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) confronted Secretary of Transportation nominee Pete Buttigieg over the Keystone XL decision on Thursday morning, during Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing. If the administration was serious about infrastructure, Cruz asked, why was it killing an infrastructure project with “good, paying union jobs”?
When Buttigieg said the idea was that “net” jobs created in more climate-friendly industries would be positive, Cruz retorted that that was little comfort to the Keystone XL workers who were being laid off: “So for those workers, the answer is somebody else will get a job?”Breitbart