This is not a good idea!
On Wednesday (May 11), as Americans battle the highest gas prices in years, the Biden administration canceled one of the highest-profile oil and gas leases pending before the Department of Interior.
The DOI revealed it would not be moving ahead with the planned oil and gas lease sales, which would potentially drill for oil in over 1 million acres in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, and a further two in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to reporting by Fox News, a DOI spokesperson said the lack of interest resulted in the Alaska lease being canceled, while the Gulf leases were halted because of delays.
“Due to lack of industry interest in leasing in the area, the Department will not move forward with the proposed Cook Inlet OCS oil and gas lease sale 258,” the spokesperson said, adding, “The Department also will not move forward with lease sales 259 and 261 in the Gulf of Mexico region, as a result of delays due to factors including conflicting court rulings that impacted work on these proposed lease sales.”
Wednesday’s announcement comes as the government’s five-year offshore drilling program is about to expire on June 30, which creates additional uncertainty about the future of leasing programs under Biden’s administration.
However, under federal law, the DOI only has a five-year scoping period to auction off-shore leases, which would end when the current drilling program expires.
However, this five-year period faced additional challenges, with Biden signing an executive order within his first weeks as President to suspend new oil and gas leases on federal land, a decision he only reversed a few months ago after the Russia-Ukraine conflict threatened U.S. supply.