In Climate Reversal, Biden Endorses New Oil and Gas Mega Auction, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

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Washington: The administration of US President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced plans to open more than 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas exploration after a court ruled against the suspension of the lease administration.

The decision represents a significant setback for the White House’s ambitious climate agenda and was quickly challenged by a coalition of environmental groups.

The Home Office’s Office of Ocean Energy Management expects a final sale notice in September, “with a lease sale to follow in the fall of this year,” the agency said in a statement.

In January, Biden announced a moratorium on new drilling from federal lands pending a review, as the Democrat sought to put the climate crisis at the heart of his presidency.

But in June, a Louisiana judge appointed by former President Donald Trump stepped in to rule that the administration needed Congressional approval for its break.

According to a decision record posted online, the government is projecting up to 1.1 billion barrels of oil and 4.4 trillion cubic feet of gas from the auction.

He noted a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “detailing observations of a rapidly changing climate in every region of the world,” but said it did not present sufficient reason to modify the environmental impact study of the drilling for the moment.

Environmental groups led by advocacy group Earthjustice sued the Office of Ocean Energy Management and Home Secretary Deb Haaland after the advice.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, it is clear that we must do all we can to move away from fossil fuels in order to reduce the impacts of climate change such as stronger and more frequent hurricanes,” said the executive director of Healthy Gulf, Cynthia Sarthou.

“This lease sale is deeply disappointing. The Biden administration has fallen back on the oil industry on the basis of its campaign of disinformation and political pressure, ignoring the worsening climate emergency we face.” , added Brettny Hardy, lawyer for Earthjustice.


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