Fundamentals haven’t changed: Biden administration approves more fossil fuel drilling permits on public lands and waters in 2021 than Trump won in 2017

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

In his second year as president, the only promise Joe Biden has fulfilled appears to be his promise that “there won’t be any fundamental change.”

The pledge even applies to climate change policies, where voters may expect Biden to take steps to limit the expansion of the oil and gas industry. No such luck. Instead, Biden appears to be following in the footsteps of the previous Democratic president, who proudly and openly acknowledged the oil and gas boom. Actively gloat. If you don’t believe me, please watch again the video clip included in this article I posted! – less than two weeks ago (Interior Department moves to block some oil and gas leases on Alaska’s North Slope).

Biden fossil fuel record: Drilling on public lands at full speed

While I’ve recently heard the new administration push back against Trump-style excesses, that’s far from the whole story.

Let’s take a closer look at this Common Dreams article from Friday, Biden overtakes Trump on first-year drilling licenses:

Although President Joe Biden promise In a bid to phase out federal leases for fossil fuel extraction, his administration approved more permits to drill for oil and gas on public lands in its first year than the Trump administration did in 2017.

That’s according to new analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity federal data Data released Friday showed the Biden White House rubber-stamping oil and gas drilling permits on 3,557 public lands in 2021, a 34 percent increase from the administration of former President Donald Trump, which had its first year in 2,658 drilling permits were approved.

Nearly 2,000 permits for drilling authorized by Biden administration in past year officially recognized Public lands in New Mexico, followed by Wyoming with 843, Montana and North Dakota with 285, and Utah with 191. In California, Biden signed 187 permits, more than double the 71 permits Trump approved to drill on public lands in the Golden State in his first year in office.

“Biden’s runaway drilling approval is a major failure of climate leadership,” said Tyler McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity. Say statement on Friday. “Avoiding catastrophic climate change requires a halt to new fossil fuel extraction, but Biden is moving in the opposite direction.”

Now, Biden appears to have initially intended to suspend fossil fuel drilling on public lands. At least that’s what he said and issued an executive order to implement such a promise.

But when faced with completely predictable resistance from Republican attorneys general challenging the policy, the Justice Department’s legal whiz basically rolled over and signed the government’s deal to approve fossil fuel licenses as if Trump had won, not lost the 2020 election. Why do I say “predictable hit back”? Well, because these same AGs have challenged climate change policy in federal court before. Republicans excel at this: They are absolutely ruthless in crafting legal and political initiatives that advance their policy goals. So one might hope that, by this stage, Democrats might realize that these AGs aren’t going anywhere — and might try to come up with an independent fossil fuel policy, not just a rubber stamp of a baby drill agenda. Alas, expecting Democrats to govern effectively — and implement changes in climate change policy — I want to ask too much.

Per Common Dreams for more details:

A year ago, Biden released executive order Suspend new oil and gas leases.President’s pause The federal lease program is designed to give the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) time to conduct a comprehensive review of “potential climate and other impacts associated with oil and gas activities on public lands or offshore waters.”

However, a group of Republican attorneys general poured in $4.5 million in campaign cash People from the fossil fuel lobby sued the Biden administration in March, saying its moratorium violated federal laws requiring quarterly rental sales. In June, a federal judge appointed by Trump sided with them and issued preliminary injunction.

Although the U.S. Department of Justice challenged the ruling, it was ultimately Say In August, judge’s decision to invalidate moratorium did not force Biden administration to immediately resume new fossil fuel lease sales – Interior Department backs down and takes action resurrection The then frozen oil and gas leasing program.

November – just days after Biden claiming to be Washington allegedly Committed to decarbonization COP26 Climate Summit – White House Convenes Rent for sale 257, auction condemn It would be ecologically irresponsible to give 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico seabed to the highest bidder for oil and gas companies.

Although Biden ensure To halve U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, his administration has also plan Allows fossil fuel companies to buy drilling rights on hundreds of thousands of acres of public land. [Jerri-Lynn here: my emphasis in both bolded passages.]

Remind me again who won the 2020 election? Because in terms of fossil fuel drilling on public lands, there really isn’t any fundamental change in my opinion. Although at least some administration officials are aware that there are alternatives to the blind continuation of Trump’s trends. But while other such possibilities are theoretically recognized in theory, the reality is that this administration continues to rubber-stamp drilling permits, once again returning to the shared dream:

as a food and water meter explain Last month, the Biden administration “acknowledged that it has a number of other legal mechanisms to bar new oil and gas leases” beyond the controversial moratorium, undermining its claim that it was “tethered by a right-wing judge.” hands and feet”.

Because, guess what: The Trump administration has effectively installed many right-wing justices, not just at the Supreme Court level. So, if this administration is going to take any climate change agenda seriously, it must have a plan for dealing with such jurists. Hands up, blaming the right-wing-led judiciary for the chaos is not the answer.

What would that be like. This shared dream article, Biden’s 360+ climate groups: Phasing out fossil fuels on public lands, outlines a starting point:

more than 360 degree climate and rights groups filed a legal petition Thursday calling on the Biden administration to use its executive powers to phase out federal oil and gas production on public lands and oceans.

Petition provides a lifeline for planet in climate crisis and offers a direct path, these groups say revoke The “catastrophic failure of climate leadership” by President Joe Biden.

Petition to Biden and Interior Outlines Framework for 98% Reduction in Oil and Gas Production Through Executive Branch by 2035 action Use the statutory provisions of the Mineral Leases Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the National Emergencies Act.

“The natural place to start phasing out climate-damaging oil and gas production is on our public lands and oceans, and Biden has the right to do so. If America leads, the world follows. Biden must keep his promise to end federal oil and natural gas extraction,” Say Taylor McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).

Citing the overwhelming scientific consensus — the petition calls on Biden to immediately stop approving all new fossil fuel production and phase out nearly all existing fossil fuel production — to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of the climate crisis.

bottom line

So it’s not just the government’s public health teams that are struggling, who are clearly overwhelmed by the state of the pandemic and have no plans to try to get ashore safely.

Anyone who’s been paying attention knows the planet is in serious trouble. We are well past the stage where we must address climate change. Fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters currently accounts for a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Despite modest commitments in Glasgow, the current government continues to allow such production to expand. I think I prefer Trump’s policies. At least in that case, the enemy was clear and the information wasn’t mixed up. –

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