Legal Action Against Biden Administration

An oil industry advocacy group has filed a lawsuit in response to the Biden administration’s decision to limit offshore oil and natural gas leases.

The lawsuit from the American Petroleum Institute comes as oil prices rose Tuesday amid concerns over conflicts in the Middle East, according to CNBC, which noted prices rose 6 percent last week.

API Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Meyers said the API’s challenge to the 2024-2029 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program opposes the Biden administration’s shortsighted restrictions, according to a news release on the website of the American Petroleum Institute.

“Demand for affordable, reliable energy is only growing, yet this administration has used every tool at its disposal to restrict access to vast energy resources in federal waters,” Myers said.

“In issuing a five-year program with the fewest lease sales in history, the administration is limiting access in a region responsible for generating among the lowest carbon-intensive barrels in the world, putting American consumers at greater risk of relying on foreign sources for our future energy needs,” he said.

“Today, we are taking action to challenge this shortsighted program, so that future generations of Americans will continue to benefit from our energy advantage for decades to come,” he said.

The release noted that the Interior Department is required to have a five-year plan for oil and natural gas leases that includes drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The release noted that the plan was released almost 500 days late.

Under the plan, only three potential leases are in the cards, which the release called “the fewest oil and gas lease sales in a five-year program in history.”

Noting the lease sales are planned for 2025, 2027 and 2029, the release said that “2024 will be the first year since 1966 without an offshore lease sale.”

The API’s legal challenge called the decision “arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with law.”

The challenge calls upon the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the plan.

The Hill noted that under the Inflation Reduction Act, at least 60 million acres must be leased for offshore natural gas and oil drilling.

When the plan was released, it was denounced by API President Mike Sommers, according to The New York Times.

“This restrictive offshore leasing program is the latest tactic in a coordinated strategy to reduce energy production, ultimately weakening America’s energy dominance, limiting consumers’ access to affordable, reliable energy and compromising our ability to lead on the global stage,” he said.

The plan had claimed that less drilling would be needed because the Biden administration’s plan to boost energy from other sources would meet America’s needs.

“An increase in renewable energy production, electrification, energy efficiency and reduced consumption leads to less reliance on oil and gas resources and reduced demand,” the Interior Department’s plan said.

via westernjournal

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