This week, the Biden administration discreetly acknowledged that a crucial talking point it had used to deflect blame for the gas price crisis of the previous year was untrue.
What was being argued?
The Biden administration charged that the oil industry was hoarding 9,000 already-approved oil leasing permits as gas prices soared to record highs.
It was said that the oil sector was making record profits but refusing to reinvest those earnings back into its operations, instead of boosting production and supplying the market with additional oil and gas.
“They currently have 9,000 drilling permits. The drilling could have started yesterday, last week, or last year. They already have 9,000 licensed offshore drilling rigs.” Biden stated back in March. “To be clear, they are not currently being used for manufacturing. That’s a choice they made. This is the reality. The truth should be told openly.”
For months, a number of Biden administration representatives kept making the assertion.
What are they saying today, though?
The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the leases, reduced the number of granted leases to less than 7,000 and blamed the Trump admin. for a procedural error.
According to Fox News:
“Oil and gas corporations must submit permits to drill applications after they locate a deposit on a lease that can be tapped. The Bureau of Land Management lowered the current number of authorized applications for licenses to drill down from an expected 9,000 to less than 6,700. The BLM, a division of the Department of the Interior, attributed the alteration to a technical change from the Trump administration that it had not adequately taken into consideration.”
The BLM stated in a press release, “Companies have access to more than 6,600 approved and underutilized drilling permits on federal lands as of February 2023. This figure has been revised to reflect a reporting error brought about by the switch to a new database in the middle of 2020.”
However, the Biden administration continued to advocate against oil.
“The record profits achieved by oil corporations in 2022, as well as the thousands of authorized but unused drilling permits they have, demonstrate that there is nothing standing in the way of boosting oil production except Big Oil’s own determination to siphon earnings into the pockets of executives and shareholders,” an official told Fox News.