Biden admin cancels major energy production lease opportunities in Alaska, Gulf of Mexico

Americans are already paying high prices for oil and gas due in part to President Joe Biden’s anti-domestic energy policies, global production and supply chain issues, and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The problem could soon worsen, too, as Biden’s administration just canceled planned lease sales for oil and gas exploration and production in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, CBS News reported.

Energy production lease opportunities canceled

The lease opportunity in Alaska covered roughly 1 million acres within the Cook Inlet but, according to an Interior Department spokesperson, it was canceled because of an alleged “lack of industry interest” in developing the area. That spokesperson also noted that the two smaller lease opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico had been canceled because there were “conflicting court rulings that impacted work on these proposed lease sales.”

This news comes less than two months prior to the end of the federal government’s current five-year plan for auctioning off offshore leases for energy production and, despite federal law strictly requiring such five-year plans, the Biden administration has yet to put forward a new plan and likely won’t be able to do so, much less actually begin to implement it, for quite some time.

CBS News noted that environmental activists cheered the development as being in line with the furtherance of their stated goals — which are shared by the Biden administration — of hastening the end of fossil fuel production while transitioning to rely more upon renewable sources of energy.

Yet, even some of those environmentalists acknowledge the particularly sticky political situation Biden has found himself in with skyrocketing energy costs due, at least in part, to his own policies designed to appease the climate change crowd.

“They don’t want to get hit by the Republicans in light of the high gas prices,” an unnamed environmental advocate told the network. “They’re getting killed on attacks based on inflation. The most visible sign of inflation is high gas prices.”

A “pattern” of “mixed signals” from admin on domestic energy production

Meanwhile, CNN reported that a top executive with the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the energy industry, decried the Biden administration’s decision to cancel the lease opportunities in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

“Unfortunately, this is becoming a pattern. The administration talks about the need for more supply and acts to restrict it,” API Vice President Frank Macchiarola said in a statement. “As geopolitical volatility and global energy prices continue to rise, we again urge the administration to end the uncertainty and immediately act on a new five-year program for federal offshore leasing.”

That statement paired well with a Tuesday tweet from API’s official Twitter account that lamented the “mixed signals” sent by the administration and included a graphic that, on one side, featured statements and actions from President Biden in favor of more domestic energy production matched with contradictory statements and actions against domestic energy production on the other side.

Even some Democrats were taken aback by Biden’s “mixed message”

Interestingly enough, CNN also reported that a top Democrat, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), uttered similarly critical remarks during a committee hearing Thursday about the “mixed message” the White House has sent with regard to climate change and domestic energy production.

“I get the reason for the cancellation announced today was concerns about climate. That’s the reason. And we ought to be concerned about climate,” Kaine said. “But it strikes me if we’re the largest energy producer in the world, and we know that at least transitionally, our European allies need energy from sources other than Russia, that us going to Saudi Arabia and saying, ‘Please, produce more energy,’ when we’re not willing to do it ourselves — I just don’t get it.”

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