Home NewsCommodities News Biden administration plans to resume plans for federal oil and gas development By Reuters

Biden administration plans to resume plans for federal oil and gas development By Reuters

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Biden administration plans to resume plans for federal oil and gas development By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Drilling rigs operate in the Permian Basin oil and gas producing area in Lee County, New Mexico, U.S., February 10, 2019.REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

(Reuters) – The Biden administration said on Friday it would resume plans to develop oil and gas on federal lands after a court ruling this week temporarily reinstated a measure designed to factor global warming costs into federal decision-making.

It is the latest in a series of pauses and starts in the federal oil and gas lease program since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021. Biden pledged during his presidential campaign to halt federal drilling auctions, but that effort has been thwarted. A court challenge from a Republican-led state.

Just a month ago, the Interior Department said it would delay an upcoming federal oil and gas lease sale after a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the government from using its “social cost of carbon” value to factor climate change risk into permits, investments decision-making and regulatory issues.

Earlier this week, a federal appeals court allowed the government to temporarily continue to use a value of about $50 per ton of greenhouse gas emissions. The White House has returned to Obama-era prices, well above the roughly $10 a tonne set by the Trump administration early last year.

“Through this ruling, the Department continues to plan for responsible oil and gas development on U.S. public lands and waters,” Interior Department spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said in an emailed statement.

She declined to say whether the government would resume auctions of oil and gas leases anytime soon.

Before the February ruling, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had been preparing for lease sales in several western states. The environmental analysis of these sales relies on the social cost of carbon imposed by Biden.

The Western Energy Alliance, an industry group, said the sale should now take place.

“We heard directly from the BLM that the district court’s ruling caused them to stop progress because they had to change their analysis, but now that’s not the case and they can move on,” coalition president Kathleen Sgamma said in an email.

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