Biden promises but doesn’t deliver. Awarded more oil drilling licenses so far than during the Trump era

Between January 20 and last October 31st the administration of Joe Biden has granted more oil drilling licenses than Donald Trump. In all 3,019 new permits, an average of 332 per month, figures higher than those of the previous administration. Not only that, the government agency Bureau of Land Management has renewed 18 leases for the same number coal mines, allowing the continuation of the extractions for at least another decade. They were also welcomed 13 requests for royalties reduction that coal mines pay the federal government to operate on public land. The US newspaper writes it Washington Post in an article he contributed to Type Investigations. Last week the US government held an auction for the award of new licenses for the exploration of fields in the Gulf of Mexico (from which about 15% of the oil produced in the USA comes) in the waters facing Texas and Louisiana. The assigned plots cover a large sea area twice as far as Florida.

During the Cop26 global climate summit which ended in Glasgow on 12 November, the president Joe Biden promised that the United States would “Given the example” to other countries in terms of reduction of Co2 emissions and fight against climate change. Coal and oil are the two most polluting fossil sources and according to the International Energy Agency, investments in these fuels should be eliminated immediately to make it possible to achieve the goal of containing within 1.5 degrees the average increase in global temperature compared to pre-industrial values. As a candidate, Biden had promised that he would end the new authorizations for the extraction of oil and gas on public lands and waters.

At the beginning of Biden’s tenure had suspended the lease of public land to the hydrocarbon industry pending a review of energy strategies of the country. the decision was challenged by some states that feared the repercussions on the sector and the judges agreed with them. The White House at this point gave up, deciding not to challenge he pronounces it although there were important arguments in his favor. Not only that, as it turns out, no particular limitations have been imposed on the new licenses in terms of emissions, which instead would be in the prerogatives of the government. According to various experts, the US executive would still have regulatory tools available for block new drilling licenses.

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