By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, a former securities attorney and derivatives trader.She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

According to yesterday’s report, the Department of the Interior announced yesterday that it intends to block oil and gas leases on about 11 million acres of land on Alaska’s North Slope, an area formerly dedicated to fossil fuel development. The Wall Street Journal, U.S. moves to limit oil leases in Alaska.

According to the magazine:

The action, related to a federal lawsuit brought by environmentalists, would reverse the Trump administration’s efforts to expand oil production from the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve.

The reserve had been set aside for oil and gas development in the 1920s. Under former President Barack Obama, the federal government limited oil and gas development to 11.8 million acres of reserves.

Trump Administration Expand it to 18.6 million acres, saying developing the resource would improve the nation’s energy security and boost the Alaska economy.

Now, I give the Home Office some credit for the decision, but still point out that the agency was motivated by outside litigation. According to the Wall Street Journal:

This has sparked lawsuits from environmental groups. President Biden ordered the review, and on Monday, Interior officials said cuts to leasable areas would benefit threatened and endangered species, without providing specifics.

Its decision would revert to an Obama-era plan for the area, restoring restrictions on the 7 million acres the Trump administration plans to open.

Mr Biden has been seeking to limit oil production on federal lands to reduce global warming gases that contribute to climate change.

The Biden administration promised a more comprehensive review of federal oil and gas leasing policy during the campaign, but has yet to deliver on that promise. While there is no doubt that Biden pursues the drill baby drill policy advocated by the Trump administration, it does more than maintain a mode of holding. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr Biden has been under pressure from environmental groups to comply with Campaign promise to ban new licenses For oil and gas drilling on federal land and offshore.

“This is still far from the government’s commitment to climate,” Jeremy Lieb, a lawyer for the nonprofit Earthjustice, said of Monday’s statement.

Mr. Biden also Suspension of oil leases The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, across from the Alaskan Arctic in the northeastern corner of the state, is 19 million acres largely unspoiled.

Congress gave the industry a much sought-after haven in 2017, but Biden administration officials are reviewing options that could revoke a lease granted by the Trump administration under the 2017 law.

Legacy of bipartisan failures on fossil fuel development and climate change

While Biden’s reversal of Trump’s policies is welcome, it’s important not to gloss over the failures of both sides on climate change. While Democrats and Republicans differ in their policies on North Slope fossil fuel leasing, even Democrats’ policies are far from suspending further development. Near-term production levels on the North Slope are expected to be dangerous for the planet.As reported by The Frontiersman North Slope oil production remains steady as ConocoPhillips adds two new projects:

Oil production in the North Slope has remained steady and two new ConocoPhilllips projects will be added in January.

ConocoPhillips began production on December 12 at GMT-2 in the National Petroleum Reserve west of the Alpine field, and on Dec. 14, the company began continuous production in the Narwhal area, an extension to Alpine. The oil agglomeration area south of the oil field.

As production from both projects ramps up, the total ramp production will increase throughout the spring.

The Prudhoe Bay field in northern Alaska continued to increase year-over-year production in December, while other North Slope fields lagged mainly due to natural declines.

While overall ramp production remained steady, production at Prudhoe Bay, operated by Houston-based largely independent Hilcorp Energy, increased, averaging 326,262 barrels per day in December, up from the year-ago average of 311,172 barrels per day and 295,417 barrels per day . Average number of days in December 2019.

Other fields on the slope, including the second-largest Kuparuk River on the slope and the smaller Lisburne field, saw declines.

As regular readers know, I have never been fooled by the gimmicks that Trump’s predecessor, my law school classmates used regularly on many issues.As I wrote in my student days, I was well-prepared for his modus operandi as a student Don’t be Obama’s measurer: Supporting naked capitalism and critical thinking.

The man has been undeservedly lauded for his climate change policies, which, if viewed only roughly, fail miserably. Only when compared to Trump’s standards — a very low one — do they appear to have any merit. When it comes to fossil fuels, as in many other fields, he does what he always does, saying one thing and doing another—as if good PR was necessary to solve the puzzle.

He was especially shameless when it came to fossil fuels, and he stepped down to drive the oil and gas industry to a big win. Nor am I alone in noticing this reality. See recent David Sirota tweet:

For those smug, here’s the evidence straight from the source:

There’s no denying that Biden’s Interior Department is curbing Trump-style excesses. Regrettably, the North Slope fossil fuel development plan is still too little, too late, and the development of half of the national oil reserve has not been constrained. Yet at least Biden isn’t preaching one thing and praising its opposite at the official event. I think this is progress.


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