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The US oil and gas industry is suing the Biden administration over its decision to severely restrict offshore drilling amid a growing industry backlash against its climate and energy policies.
But in a sign of the political tightrope policymakers must walk when
During rule-making in the US climate and energy sector, climate activists also sued the government over the same policy.
The lawsuit by the American Petroleum Institute, a lobbying group, accused the U.S. government of using “every tool at its disposal” to restrict access to resources in federal waters. He said he needed to act to prevent consumers from having to rely on foreign supplies and safeguard their energy security.
In September, the U.S. Department of the Interior revealed plans to make just three offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico between 2025 and 2029, dealing a blow to producers' ambitions in the oil-rich region. The record number of planned sales in nearly a half-century of foreign federal leases was a fraction of an original proposal of 47 made during former President Donald Trump's administration.
The decision was criticized by the industry, which lobbied hard for greater access to the Gulf of Mexico. But it was also criticized by environmental activists, who called it a “missed opportunity” to minimize future drilling.
Federal Gulf waters account for about 2 million barrels a day of crude oil production, or about 15 percent of total U.S. production, which has recently hit records.
“By issuing a five-year program with the lowest lease sales in history, the administration is limiting access in a region responsible for generating one of the lowest carbon intensity barrels in the world, putting American consumers at greater risk.” from depending on foreign sources for its production. our future energy needs,” said Ryan Meyers, API general counsel.
API filed its petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Claiming it was “arbitrary, capricious and not in accordance with law,” the lawsuit asked the court to review the administration's decision under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The interior department declined to comment.
Separately, environmental groups argued in their own legal action that the Biden administration did not adequately consider public health impacts on frontline communities when approving lease sales.
Earthjustice, an environmental group, said it is concerned that the lease sale program jeopardizes the health of already overburdened communities.
“The oil and gas industry already has 9 million acres of undeveloped leases. They are certainly not entitled to more,” said Earthjustice attorney Brettny Hardy.
The cases come amid an increasingly bitter conflict between the industry and the Biden administration over the latter's recent pause in approving new terminals for liquefied natural gas exports, while it reviews considerations such as greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse effect and internal energy costs.
The administration actions on offshore drilling and LNG come ahead of this year's election, in which President Joe Biden is appealing to climate-conscious voters to stop Trump, his most likely rival, from taking office and destroying their climate policies.
If elected, Trump has pledged to undo the pause on LNG approvals in his first week back in office.
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