Biden administration looks to halt offshore drilling in Atlantic, Pacific amid energy crisis

By Jack McEvoy, DCNF

The Biden administration announced a five-year plan Friday that prevents new offshore oil drilling projects in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The proposed plan will give the administration the ability to hold no new lease sales at all, according to the Interior Department. The plan could allow a maximum of 11 oil lease sales for offshore drilling, ten in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Cook Inlet off of the south-central Alaska coast over the course of the next five years.

“A Proposed Program is not a decision to issue specific leases or to authorize any drilling or development,” said Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland.

“From Day One, President Biden and I have made clear our commitment to transition to a clean energy economy,” she continued.

The proposal comes amid rising gas prices and inflation and calls for increasing oil production as well as President Joe Biden’s commitment to tackling climate change. Biden also vowed to ban offshore fossil fuel drilling during his campaign.

Any new offshore leases are unlikely to have a short-term impact on fuel prices as it often takes years after a sale is completed for companies to begin drilling.

The announced plan is part of the federally required process to implement a new five-year plan for offshore oil drilling. The DOI last held an offshore oil and gas auction in November, located in the Gulf of Mexico; however, a court order later stopped the sale on the grounds that the administration had failed to properly account for its impact on the climate.

The DOI intends to open this matter to public comment and may reduce the areas they open up for new drilling based on the public’s reaction.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. The DOI referred TheDCNF to its statement issued at the time of the decision.

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