As of this week, the Biden administration had halted all oil and gas leasing in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Mexico.
According to The Hill, a department spokesperson said that the “Cook Inlet lease sale will not go forward due to lack of industry interest. Meanwhile, the planned sale of two leases in the Gulf of Mexico, lease 259 and lease 261, will not take place because of conflicting court decisions on the leases.”
In 2021, when the president first came into office, he signed an executive order halting all new gas and oil leasing on federal land. However, it was ruled invalid by Judge James Cain, a Trump pick. After appealing the decision, a Washington D.C. Superior Court “overturned another Gulf of Mexico lease sold by the government.” The Hill reports that the Alaska ruling has to do with a separate contract than those mentioned by the Interior Department spokesperson
“The Alaska lease was expected to cover over 1 million acres. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has previously ended lease sales in the area because there was no industry interest at the time.”
“The Interior Dept is required to follow a five-year offshore leasing strategy under federal legislation, which was scheduled to conclude at the end of June in the matter of the affected leases.”
Gas prices have gone through the roof during Biden’s administration, in tandem with historic inflation. According to the Washington Post, the average cost of a gallon of gas reached a new high of $4.37 – the highest price record since AAA began keeping records in 2000.
“This isn’t the most costly gasoline on record when adjusted for inflation, but the increase does come despite Biden’s recent order to draw on a million barrels per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” according to The Washington Post.
This week, the president vowed to make rising costs and inflation a priority for his administration.
The president said, “Republicans have blamed a lot, but no real solution to decrease energy prices has been provided.”