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Thread: Biden admin proposes raft of new regulations hindering oil and gas drilling

  1. #1

    Exclamation Biden admin proposes raft of new regulations hindering oil and gas drilling

    Biden administration oil drilling review proposes higher fees, development

    Nov 26 (Reuters) - The Biden administration proposed a slew of changes on Friday to the nation's federal oil and gas leasing program, including hiking fees on drilling companies to keep them out of sensitive wildlife and cultural zones.

    The recommendations followed a months-long review aimed at ensuring drilling on federal lands and waters benefits the public. But in a sign of the extreme controversy surrounding the issue, environmental groups slammed the proposals as too weak and the industry criticized them as too harsh.

    President Joe Biden's administration launched the review earlier this year in what had widely been seen as a step toward delivering on his election campaign promise to end new fossil fuel drilling on federal acreage to fight climate change.

    Under the U.S. federal oil and gas leasing program, the Interior Department must hold regular auctions for the drilling industry to boost domestic energy self-sufficiency and raise money for public coffers.

    The Interior Department report, however, said the current program "falls short of serving the public interest" and called for new rules to boost royalty rates, bonding rates, and other fees for producers. Current law requires a minimum royalty rate of 12.5% for oil and gas produced on federal acreage, a level that has not changed in about a century.

    The report also proposed new rules to avoid leasing "that conflicts with recreation, wildlife habitat, conservation, and historical and cultural resources," it said.

    "Our nation faces a profound climate crisis that is impacting every American," Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement announcing the recommendations.

    "The Interior Department has an obligation to responsibly manage our public lands and waters – providing a fair return to the taxpayer and mitigating worsening climate impacts."

    The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the U.S. oil and gas industry, criticized the proposals, saying they would heap costs on domestic energy producers at a time of already-high retail gasoline prices.

    Environmental groups including the Center for Biological Diversity and Food & Water Watch, meanwhile, objected to the proposals as too weak.

    “These trivial changes are nearly meaningless in the midst of this climate emergency, and they break Biden’s campaign promise to stop new oil and gas leasing on public lands,” said Randi Spivak, CBD's public lands director.

    “Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it’s OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic,” she said.

    About a quarter of the nation's oil and gas comes from federal leases and the program raises billions of dollars for federal and state budgets.


    The Interior Department had meant for the leasing report to be released by early summer but repeatedly delayed it without explanation.

    The department had also attempted to suspend oil and gas leasing during the program review, but was forced to move ahead with auctions after several oil and gas producing states sued in federal court.

    A federal auction of millions of acres in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico this month, for example, generated more than $190 million in high bids, the highest since 2019, with major buyers including Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Chevron Corp (CVX.N), BP Plc (BP.L) and Shell (RDSa.L).

    Haaland has said she wants to reduce the carbon footprint of the nation's federal lands and waters by encouraging leasing for renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal instead of fossil fuels.

    Biden, meanwhile, has set a target to decarbonize the U.S. economy - the world's second-largest greenhouse gas emitter - by the year 2050, in part by encouraging a transition away from fossil fuels to renewables.
    "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov

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  3. #2
    "The Interior Department has an obligation to responsibly manage our public lands and waters – providing a fair return to the taxpayer and mitigating worsening climate impacts."
    The perfect picture of a nagging, post menopausal woman, in over her head on a diversity hire, but determined to rule.

    As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths
    "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov

  4. #3
    I think its past time to revisit why the Federal Government "owns" 50% of land in the Western, U.S. along with the grazing, mineral and oil rights.

  5. #4
    The ramifications of this are huge.

    Biden to Increase U.S. Oil Lease Fees 50% While Accusing ‘Big Oil’ of Anticompetitive Activities

    WENDELL HUSEBØ27 Nov 2021538
    The Biden-Harris administration issued a report Friday to increase the price of oil leasing fees on federal lands in the United States by 50 percent—even while accusing oil companies of artificially increasing prices through illegal and anticompetitive actions.

    Despite record-high gasoline prices impacting American families across the country with winter around the corner, the Biden-Harris administration is recommending Congress hike the cost of oil leases on government lands from 12.50 percent to 18.75 percent.

    The 6.25 percentage point royalty rate increase on oil companies would contradict the administration’s promise to lower gasoline prices. In recent weeks, the Biden-Harris administration has asked OPEC to increase oil supplies and requested the Federal Trade Commission conduct an investigation into oil companies for “anticompetitive behavior.”

    The rate increase, according to the New York Times, would generate about an extra “$2.5 billion in new revenue by the end of the decade,” which oil companies would pay to the federal government, though consumers would absorb the increased cost the companies incur. So far, the Biden-Harris administration has collected $1.6 billion more from oil leases in 2021 than in 2020.

    An increased royalty rate would be the first rate hike since 1920 and would fulfill President Biden’s campaign promise to global warming activists and the far-left.

    After taking office, Biden threatened American energy independence by mandating a temporary ban on oil leases until Friday’s report was issued. But after 13 states sued and overturned the order, “Shell, BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobil offered $192 million for the rights to drill” in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The report from the administration coincides with the massive tax and spend reconciliation package that Democrat leaders are attempting to jam through Congress. The package was passed in the House last week and will likely find its way into the Senate, where it stands little chance of passage as written.

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have opposed many provisions in the package, including tax increases, hits to American energy independence, and welfare provisions.

    The recommendation to Congress to increase the cost of oil production is the latest tactic in the war on American energy independence. In January, Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline and is also considering canceling the Michigan Line 5 pipeline. Biden also rejoined to Paris Climate Accords and is conducting an environmental regulatory review of repairs instituted by the Trump administration that protected American energy independence.

    On Tuesday, Biden raided the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices, despite Vice President Harris slamming then-President Donald Trump in 2020 for refilling them. The immediate impact of the raid was an increase in oil prices. Due to constraint capacity on pipelines, the United States’ output from the reserve is 4.5 million barrels per day.
    "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov

  6. #5
    "Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?"--Will Rogers

    "All I know is what I read in the newspapers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance."--Will Rogers

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