The nation’s largest fossil fuel industry association has filed a legal challenge against the Biden administration over its offshore oil and gas leasing program, which has the smallest number of lease sales in U.S. history.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed a legal petition on Monday, arguing that the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) plan to restrict future offshore fossil fuel lease sales puts American consumers at risk and threatens American energy security. The Interior Department finalized the five-year plan in December, scheduling just three lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico through 2029, marking the smallest number of sales ever included in such a plan.
“The demand for reliable, affordable energy is growing, and yet this administration has used every tool at its disposal to restrict access to the vast energy resources in federal waters,” said API Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Myers.
“By issuing a five-year program with the lowest number of lease sales in history, the administration is limiting access to a region responsible for generating oil of the lowest carbon-intensive barrels in the world, putting American consumers at greater risk of relying on foreign sources of oil production.” “Our future energy needs,” Myers continued.
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Under the management plan, the DOI Bureau of Ocean Energy Management The three block sales will be held in the Gulf of Mexico in 2025, 2027 and 2029. It also rules out any leasing off the coast of Alaska and in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, in another departure from previous plans.
At the same time, the Interior Ministry indicated that it could have pursued a more restrictive five-year program had it not been for the inflation reduction law. That legislation — a $739 billion climate and tax package from Democrats signed by President Biden in 2022 — links new offshore wind leases to new oil and gas leases, meaning the former could be threatened without consistent fossil fuel leasing.
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Releasing software for less than three sales, a possibility raised by DOI last year to the dismay of energy industry groups, It may have jeopardized Biden’s plan To ensure that the United States develops 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030. The country currently has only two small pilot projects, one off the coast of Rhode Island and one off the coast of Virginia, but the Interior Department has authorized several large-scale facilities since 2021 that are scheduled to come soon. Internet in the coming years.
Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, the federal government is required to issue plans every five years outlining future projections. Offshore oil and gas lease sales. The most recent plan, which was implemented in 2017, expired in June 2022.
the Constant delays in release However, the replacement plan represents a departure from precedent set by both Republican and Democratic administrations, which have historically finalized replacements immediately after previous plans expire.
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The last two plans, drafted under the Obama administration, included more than 10 marine projects Oil and gas lease sales for each. The Trump administration sought to hold a total of 47 lease sales across the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska between 2022 and 2027, but this proposal was canceled after Biden took office in 2021.
“Today, we are taking action to challenge this short-sighted program so that future generations of Americans will continue to benefit from our energy advantages for decades to come,” Myers, of the American Petroleum Institute, said Monday.
DOI declined to comment when contacted by Fox News Digital.