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Biden Admin Plans to Resume Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program

Biden Admin Plans to Resume Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program

Meanwhile, a federal appeals court has revived a Biden administration continuing efforts to impose regulations based on the “social cost of carbon.”

As of today, Republicans are still enjoying an 11 point advantage in polling for the November election.

The 2022 midterm elections are now 235 days away, and Republicans have an 11-point lead in their bid to recapture control of Congress.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that, if the elections for Congress were held today, 50% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican candidate, while 39% would vote for the Democrat. Just five percent (5%) would vote for some other candidate, but another seven percent (7%) are not sure.

Polling also shows Biden at 60% disapproval.

One of the issues driving this historic approval for the GOP is anger at the rapidly escalating energy cost. American voters appear to be unpersuaded by the Biden administration’s attempts to blame either Putin or the gas companies for the issue.

Therefore, Team Biden has given the thumbs-up to re-starting the leasing of federal land for oil and gas drilling.

The development is the latest in a string of stops and starts to the federal oil and gas leasing 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 stymied by a court challenge from Republican-led states.

Just a month ago, the Interior Department said it would delay upcoming federal oil and gas lease sales because a Louisiana federal judge blocked the administration from using its “social cost of carbon” value to factor the risks of climate change into decisions on permitting, investment and regulatory issues.

Then earlier this week, a federal appeals court allowed the government to continue, temporarily, using the value of around $50 per ton of greenhouse gases emitted. The White House had reverted back to an Obama-era value, which is far higher than the roughly $10 a ton imposed by the Trump administration, early last year.

I covered the Louisiana judge’s ruling about the “social cost of carbon” in a post that warned of gasoline price hikes in the wake of Ukraine’s invasion by Russia. Judge James D. Cain Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana logically deduced that the Biden administration’s calculations “artificially increase the cost estimates” of oil and gas drilling.

Yet, the administration is now making a bizarre move. A federal appeals court has revived a Biden administration continuing efforts to impose regulations based on the “social cost of carbon.”

…[A] panel of three 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges in New Orleans unanimously stayed the lower court in a ruling dated Wednesday, meaning the administration can continue using the policy while the case goes on.

The panel said any regulatory burdens the policy might bring are speculative at this point and that Louisiana and other states challenging the policy therefore had no standing to sue.

…Biden on his first day in office issued an order that restored the cost estimate to about $51 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions after the Trump administration had reduced the figure to about $7 or less per ton. Former President Donald Trump´s estimate included only damage felt in the U.S. versus the global damage captured in higher estimates that were previously used under the Obama administration.

Biden is likely to find that the social cost of his policies will be very high in November.


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Meanwhile bridge sales are up.

    Peabody in reply to JRaeL. | March 21, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    Kamala Harris confidently proclaimed that the solution is for everybody to buy electric cars, so electric car sales should be up.

Going to hold my breath for the GOP until Romney is primaried.

Classic government bullshit bait and switch.

Sure, they’re LEASING the land. Notice how the Democrat gaslighters always talk about that?


Leasing the land isn’t enough, you have to be able to drill.

    Another Voice in reply to Olinser. | March 21, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    Exactly…It’s not in the leases. it’s in the permits. Biden has not shifted policy one iota with this rhetoric for the media to spin and it’s a “sin by omission” of not addressing the excessive permitting process. The oil and gas industry on either private leased land or leased federal land have to to invest mega bucks up front of what will take up to a year or more to appease EPA before receiving a permit to move forward with no guarantee they can produce at a cost effective return on investment in the midst with ‘ole Joe not pulling another fast one and close them down again. Biden is using his 40 year fall back when the road gets rough for him, “I was for it before I was against it…oh No, I’m still for it.” ….Whatever “IT” !

    novaculus in reply to Olinser. | March 21, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    The process will take years. This move is an empty gesture, a standard tactic of Democrat politics.

      Wrong. There is a large supply of fracking wells that were capped. Those could be producing oil in a couple of weeks. The deep water wells need 6-12 months to turn back on.

      The oil futures contracts should price according to when the market expects new supply to be available. The problem is that is so much speculative capital that it is putting a strain on the commodity exchanges many of whom are looking for bailouts. If we are going to have regulations, how about forcing the regulators to do their jobs? There is far too much speculative money being driven by AI logarithms allowing the greed money run riot now that fear is not allowed to do its job. We really need a bloody correction to drive it out. No more bail outs!

        novaculus in reply to Pasadena Phil. | March 21, 2022 at 6:04 pm

        Point taken. Do you think the supply will be sufficient to significantly impact the market, given the current situation?

          My short answer is: it depends on whether frackers are included in this rumored White House adjustment. Renewing permitting and leases may garner great headlines but without tapping into the Permian Basin e.g., it will be months before we see new oil hitting the market.

          Just my opinion and I’ve been tracking oil for a long, long time, but even the experts are confused. The data is distorted by all of the leveraged speculation going on in the commodities markets. The scale of contracts in play is out of proportion to production. It’s like a few years ago when there was 20 times as much gold owned than there was physical gold to settle all of the contracts. Out-of-control speculation destroys the very purpose of having futures contracts in the first place. Everything is just a casino with everyone trying to make a quick killing rather than smart investment.

          BofA is predicting a monstrous short cover rally in the next couple of days while the current contracts expire. Meanwhile, hedge funds continue to bail out of oil.

          This would be a great time to kick OPEC in the nuts by flooding the market with fracking oil. Again. (Remember those days you rag heads?) It would break up their new oil-based relationships with Russia and restore life to the US petrod0llar while destroying any hope for a Putin escape. China’s dreams of the Chinese petro-clam would also crash and burn on take-off. US energy independence, as Trump proved, is the big key that unlocks the world.

          I suspect Biden is not looking for new domestic supply, just a narrative that will carry into November. That would exclude fracking. We’ll see. None of this may be true anyway.

The Biden Administration is ONLY doing this because a Federal Appeals Court said they had to do it!

The social cost of carbon is just a vehicle for ideologues to use to tinker with people’s lives. The concept should be banned from any and all government decisions.

    Andy in reply to irv. | March 21, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    If California is paying 7/gallon, I’m dancing on the table top. I want them paying 10.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Andy. | March 21, 2022 at 3:45 pm

      Please hold off on that for a couple of weeks at least. I have to make an emergency trip next week to attend the family business. That kind of gas price is not gonna be a good thing while I have to do that.

One of the first acts of the new Biden Administration is cancelling the permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project of Canadian energy giant TC Energy that would have moved 800,000 barrels per day of heavy crude from Alberta to Cushing, OK, providing easier access to Gulf Coast refineries. The project was originally killed in the Obama Administration due to State Department objections, later to be revived and fast-tracked by President Trump. Cancelling the project, well into its construction, will cost 11,000 union construction jobs, the ongoing pipeline jobs and revenues, and $2 billion of future investment.
Critical energy infrastructure in the U.S. has historically enjoyed nearly 100% reliability of energy supply. When we flip on a light switch, the lights come on. When we want to fill up our car, gasoline is available without waiting in line. Natural gas heats our water and keeps us warm in winter. Increasingly, “progressive” states have been resisting new energy infrastructure. As our infrastructure ages and becomes obsolete, it will become more expensive and less reliable. USA is throwing a brand new, state-of-the-art, nearly-completed asset in the trash. Relations with Canada. Oil is 1/6th of the Canadian economy. TC Energy, formerly TransCanada Pipeline, is owner of the pipeline. They are $9 billion dollars into this project, which has been in the works for years.
The Biden Administration has announced a 60-day moratorium on new federal leases as well as new oil and gas drilling permits on federal lands, including the Gulf of Mexico. This is a shot across the bow of Gulf producers; lack of permits will immediately impact drilling activity and jobs in South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
Joe Biden is a long-standing opponent of domestic energy infrastructure. In 1973, a deadlocked Senate nearly blocked the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, sorely needed in reaction to the first OPEC embargo. Senator Biden joined the opposition. Vice-President Spiro Agnew broke the Senate’s tie vote, and the pipeline went in service in 1977. Sixteen billion barrels later, America remains free of OPEC domination, thanks in part to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The boon to the economy, foreign policy, and the State of Alaska has been immeasurable. One might say that Senator Biden lacked the foresight and vision of Spiro Agnew and the pro-pipeline Senators. I remember the Arab oil embargo back in 1973 and what it did to the price of gas, severe gas shortages, destroyed our economy and how President Trump made the US a net exporter of oil. Think about that for a while!

Victor Immature | March 21, 2022 at 2:39 pm

But….I thought Jen Psnarky said there were all these unused leases that the Oil companies weren’t using ?

    Another Voice in reply to Victor Immature. | March 21, 2022 at 4:14 pm

    Energy Indusrty can get a lease but it is the EPA compliances attached to permitting which can be up to a year + out, if at all. Where is Jen’s answer to cutting back on that process as did Trump and turn it around under 6 mths. as he ginned up the permitting for the pharmacies in a crisis?

‘the “social cost of carbon” … “artificially increase[s] the cost estimates” of oil and gas drilling.’

Oh look — it’s another term with “social” stuck in front of it.
That means it isn’t based on actual math, science, or economics, like other costs, but on somebody in power’s subjective sense of “equity.” †
Like social justice, social contract, and social compact.

The word social has become an adjective which robs of its clear meaning every phrase it qualifies and transforms it into a phrase of unlimited elasticity, the implications of which can always be distorted if they are unacceptable, and the use of which, as a general rule, serves merely to conceal the lack of real agreement between men regarding a formula upon which, in appearance, they are supposed to be agreed. To a large extent it seems to me that it is to the result of this attempt to dress up in political slogans in a guise acceptable to all tastes that phrases like “social market economy” and the like owe their existence. When we all use a word which always confuses and never clarifies the issue, which pretends to give an answer where no answer exists and, even worse, which is so often used as camouflage for aspirations that certainly have nothing to do with the common interest, then the time has obviously come for a radical operation, which will free us from the confusing influence of this magical incantation.
–F. A. Hayek, “What is ‘Social?’ What Does It Mean?”

† Exception: “Social diseases” are actually diseases.

With one stroke of his pen Biden stopped oil production. But one stroke of the pen will not turn it back on again.

Clean, green, organic, biodegradable, reliable, high density fuels and so much more.

Divest from the intermittent/renewable, toxic Green blight, right?

    Andy in reply to n.n. | March 21, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    I’m all about solar and very much want to put it into my next house.

    I’m talking about the off grid option.

    Why? Electricity is one less thing that I will lose when stuff starts going sideways. As Texas showed us, it doesn’t take an EMP to bring down the grid. A cold snap and 3 hair dryers will do it. In Wa, a heat wave will do it. Your utilities are NOT immune to bureaucratic incompetence.

    I’d also like coal because I’m tired of cutting firewood and coal don’t rot and I’d just need to get a dump truck load once every couple of years for back up. I’m rather pissed that they outlawed selling it to consumers.

      txvet2 in reply to Andy. | March 21, 2022 at 4:28 pm

      You might want to research that a little more. My neighbor has solar panels all over his roof, but after last year’s blackout, he still just installed a propane fueled backup generator. Apparently solar panels don’t work that well in February during a hard freeze when the sun doesn’t shine for days.

        Martin in reply to txvet2. | March 21, 2022 at 10:14 pm

        You need the full stack. Solar, maybe wind plus fuel backup generator with a battery to smooth the load. It needs to be independent of the grid. The maintenance will make it never pay if the regulators didn’t exist. Every penny your electric bill increased in the last 15 years is paying for stupid grid scale wind projects plus the transmission lines to bring it to you. Oh plus the switch from coal to gas for the actual base load so that every watt of wind generation you pay again to build gas generation to back it up.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Andy. | March 21, 2022 at 5:40 pm

      I agree. Also, the more we do for ourselves, the less we pay in taxes. That is true for raising our own food, and meat, canning, and repairing our own appliances. All these things have gobs of hidden taxes imbedded in what we pay.

      Build your own solar system, start with used components and then upgrade over time.

      When building a home, keep in mind that anything you nail down is taxable, Use free standing closets, cabinets for pantry, and so on.

      If I had figured this out when I was young I could have saved many hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes.

        JohnSmith100 in reply to JohnSmith100. | March 21, 2022 at 5:48 pm

        I would add that I had older depression generation friends when I was a kid. They knew how to build and repair just about anything. I greatly benefited from associating with them.

          henrybowman in reply to JohnSmith100. | March 21, 2022 at 6:48 pm

          Yeah, that’s when everything wasn’t dependent on a tiny proprietary computer chip, and things were made out of metal and not polymer.

          To fix a keycap on a current Apple laptop, you have to replace the entire bottom case, moving all the guts from one case to another, because the keyboard isn’t a removable part. It’s insanely expensive and labor-intensive.

          My wife haunts yard sales for all-metal food grinders, all-metal (guts) sewing machines, and the like. That stuff is gold. Today’s stuff is crap.

To me, it tells me they have an ulterior motive NOT to bring energy prices back down.

They’re already walking this back.

The only truth about the FUCK lyin’ joe biden* administration is they’re liars. And he’s lying here probably. Let the oil and gas companies get started, shut it down again and the costs eventually get FUCK lyin’ joe biden* his stated goal of no more drilling as it gets too expensive to start and stop every month or two on the whim of a senile old dipshit.

Ever hear the old adage, “too little, too late”?