May 23, 2022

Op-ed: Biden’s restart of federal oil, gas lease sales not what it appears

Last month, the Biden administration appeared upon first glance to buck the wishes of radical environmentalists by announcing the resumption of federal oil and gas leasing, but according to one Wyoming attorney, what the president really did was declare war anew on the domestic energy industry.

In an op-ed penned for Breitbart, lawyer William Perry Pendley explained that the April 15 announcement from the administration purporting to re-start the process of selling oil and gas leases on public lands was, in fact, “among the most duplicitous, cynical, and toxically partisan” moves possible.

As Pendley notes, the decision was the result of a federal court ruling ordering the administration to resume quarterly sales of such leases; a practice Biden halted by executive order almost immediately upon taking office.

As part of his endless quest to appease the far left, Pendley added, Biden also dragged his feet in terms of complying with the court’s decision, putting a stop to the Keystone XL pipeline, and promulgated harsh regulations designed to make American energy production costly and cumbersome to achieve.

Though progressives voiced their outrage last month when the administration indicated that oil and gas lease sales would resume, according to Pendley, they either did not truly understand the details of the decision or are complicit in the public relations ruse, given the actual specifics of what was being done.

By excluding massive swaths of land from the parcels available for leasing and jacking up the royalty rates for those interested in operating the leases they could secure, Biden is, in effect, doing the bidding of environmentalists while pretending to do something else entirely, Pendley argues.

Biden’s stance on domestic energy, says Pendley, is frighteningly reminiscent of the one held by former President Jimmy Carter, whose administration put a veritable stranglehold on potential producers by limiting lands available for exploration and plunged the nation into crisis.

Pendley also lays blame at Biden’s apparent deference to the judgment of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who claims that “the federal oil and gas leasing programs have prioritized the wants of extractive industries above local communities, the natural environment, the impact on our air and water, the needs of Tribal Nations, and, moreover, other uses of our shared public lands.”

In allowing those views to hold sway, says Pendley, Biden is ignoring the voluminous environmental protections already in place, disregarding the economic and employment needs of citizens in the western U.S. – including Native Americans – and evincing a shameful preference for obtaining energy from our enemies abroad rather than reaping the benefits of our own natural abundance.

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