Biden administration cancels new oil leases as gas prices hit record highs

By Casey Harper | The Center Square

President Joe Biden canceled three pending oil and gas drilling leases in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico this week as gas prices hit record highs.

Biden has taken heavy fire for blocking new leases and pipelines as energy costs have surged but has defended his record. This latest development intensified that criticism.

“It’s day 477 of the Biden administration, we have record gas prices, and they have still not leased one acre of land to drill oil,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, said.

Wikimedia Commons/Diego Torres Silvestre

According to AAA, the national average gas price is currently $4.42, up from $3 per gallon the same time last year, when prices had already begun to rise.

The Department of Interior announced the decision late Wednesday, saying there was not enough industry interest in the areas. Experts argue the Biden administration’s fight to cancel all oil and gas leasing has made it risky and unappealing for the oil and gas industry to begin new investments in the U.S. The Alaska lease had difficulty receiving interest at certain points in the past before Biden took office.

“Canceling oil and gas leases is part of Biden’s ongoing punishing of the industry including threatening banks for lending and investment,” said Daniel Turner, executive director of the energy workers advocacy group, Power the Future. “We are all living the consequence: outrageously high prices and growing shortages.”

The decision comes just days after the U.S. hit record high gas prices. According to AAA, the national average gas price is currently $4.42, up from $3 per gallon the same time last year, when prices had already begun to rise. Federal inflation data released Wednesday also showed a slight decline in energy costs in April but still overall a major increase in energy prices in the past year.

Biden blocked all new oil and gas leasing on federal lands via executive order shortly after taking office, but a federal judge overturned that decision.

Earlier this week, the White House defended Biden’s work on energy costs.

“He’s also taken steps that are definitely smaller but meant to do anything possible, including issuing a waiver for E15 so that thousands of pumps in the Midwest could have gasoline that – and make it available to Americans so that that’s 10 cents less,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “He also has noted … that oil companies should also do their part in ensuring they’re not price gouging customers at the pump. As oil prices come down, so should gas prices at the pump. And that’s also something that we are going to continue to watch closely and continue to call on steps to be taken.”

Meanwhile, many Republicans blasted Biden for the decision.

“As gas prices hit an all-time high in the USA, [the president] cancelled a vital round of oil and gas lease sales this morning,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said. “High gas prices are preventable. Democrats are putting woke politics ahead of American families.”

They also pointed to the record high gas prices.

“Yesterday Americans paid the highest price for gasoline in history,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said. “At the same time Biden, just cancelled our largest pending American oil [and] gas lease sale”

Critics say Biden’s green agenda has Americans paying the price.

“Biden has repeatedly said he is doing everything in his power to lower gas prices, but then he pushes policies like this which cripple the industry’s ability to produce,” Turner said. “It also scares off any investment. Joe Biden made it clear in his campaign that he believes fossil fuels are the enemy. By making them scare and expensive he creates a narrative to push his green agenda.”

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Chris Yarzab and Wikimedia Commons/Diego Torres Silvestre
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4 thoughts on “Biden administration cancels new oil leases as gas prices hit record highs

  1. The illegal bidone regime started their war on oil on day one, shutting down the lucrative
    leases that would have been cheap to start pumping out of and fairly easy to access
    regulation wise. He also drove down investment by shutting down the pipe line which would
    have moved oil more cheaply and safely to refineries. Kill the incentive of profit and you’ve
    killed off the investment on it as well. Until someone who loves America is back in office us
    peons will suffer the results of the uncaring agenda imbeciles.. Oil companies are not going
    to chance loosing millions to billions on dry holes and that’s all the potato head is offering.

  2. I really have a lot of fear now for how the poor, the elderly, the single parents..
    How are people going to make it?

    I agree with David, this administration is a band of criminals..

  3. The braindead sock puppet doubles down on punishing the American people,I have a feeling it will come to a end this fall and become a reality the following January.

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