The Biden team recently unveiled its strategy for offshore drilling from 2024 to 2029, marking a historic shift by proposing only three lease auctions for oil corporations to secure drilling permissions. These auctions, slated for 2025, 2027, and 2029, will solely focus on the Gulf of Mexico, representing a stark contrast to past administrations’ approach to offshore drilling.
While the strategy has been opened to public feedback, it awaits a two-month review before being cemented.
In comparison, past Democratic leaderships, including those of Obama and Clinton, had been more liberal, suggesting 16 lease sales, of which 11 or 12 typically materialized.
The American Petroleum Institute, a voice for the oil and gas industry, labeled the strategy as unduly “limiting.” Mike Sommers, the head of the institute, voiced apprehensions about its potential repercussions on America’s energy stature and the public’s access to cost-effective energy.
On the flip side, environmental proponents believed the strategy didn’t push the envelope enough. They had aspired for a complete absence of new lease sales, recalling Biden’s 2020 campaign pledge to curtail new oil and gas licenses on public domains.
Earthjustice’s Abigail Dillen articulated her concerns, underscoring the pressing need to combat climate change and the perils of perpetuating fossil fuel reliance, especially given recent climatic anomalies.
It’s evident that the political and legal terrains have undergone transformations since Biden’s previous campaign, shaping the present directives.