Biden Admin Removes Over 6 Million Acres From Oil & Gas Lease

Objectivity 4.8 | Credibility 4.8 | Relevance 4.6

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has removed 6.4 million acres from an upcoming oil and gas lease in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Biden Administration said it was to comply with provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) after Earthjustice sued the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).  Earthjustice, an environmental group, sued NMFS over a Trump-era policy they say doesn’t adequately protect the endangered Rice’s whale habitat.  The settlement removes the acres for 13 months while officials reevaluate the 2020 assessment of oil and gas drilling on the whale’s habitat.  While the agreement leaves in place 67 million acres, the American Petroleum Industry (API) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) were critical of the deal.  Manchin said the exclusion of acres “in the name of protecting Rice’s whale while conveniently only targeting oil and gas is yet another example of this Administration’s intentional undermining of the strong energy security provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act.”