Biden To Freeze New Oil And Gas Leasing On Federal Land

Explore Billionaires All Billionaires World's Billionaires Forbes 400 America's Richest Self-Made Women China's Richest India's Richest Indonesia's Richest Korea's Richest Thailand's Richest Japan's Richest Australia's Richest Taiwan's Richest Singapore's Richest Philippines' Richest Hong Kong's Richest Malaysia's Richest Money & Politics 2020 Money Innovation All Innovation 5G AI Big Data Cloud Cloud 100 Consumer Tech Cybersecurity Enterprise Tech Future Of Work Games Green Tech Healthcare Innovation Rules Japan BrandVoice | Paid Program Jumio BrandVoice | Paid Program SAP BrandVoice | Paid Program Science ServiceNow BrandVoice | Paid Program Social Media SurveyMonkey BrandVoice | Paid Program T-Mobile for Business BrandVoice | Paid Program Venture Capital Wind River BrandVoice | Paid Program Leadership All Leadership Careers CEO Network CFO Network CIO Network CMO Network CxO Deloitte BrandVoice | Paid Program Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Education Forbes EQ | Paid Program Forbes The Culture ForbesWomen Google Cloud BrandVoice | Paid Program Leadership Strategy Splunk BrandVoice | Paid Program Under 30 Working Remote Over 50 Money All Money Banking & Insurance Crypto & Blockchain ETFs & Mutual Funds Fintech Hedge Funds & Private Equity Investing Markets Personal Finance Premium Investing Newsletters Retirement Taxes Top Advisor | SHOOK Wealth Management Election 2020 Business All Business Aerospace & Defense Energy Food & Drink Hollywood & Entertainment Honeywell BrandVoice | Paid Program Manufacturing Media Mitsubishi Heavy Industries BrandVoice | Paid Program Policy Retail Ryder BrandVoice | Paid Program SportsMoney Tableau BrandVoice | Paid Program Transportation Small Business All Small Business Entrepreneurs Franchises Office Depot OfficeMax BrandVoice | Paid Program Small Business Strategy Square BrandVoice | Paid Program Lifestyle All Lifestyle Arts Boats & Planes Cars & Bikes Dining ForbesLife Forbes Travel Guide Spirits Style & Beauty Travel Vices Watches Real Estate All Real Estate Commercial Real Estate Forbes Global Properties Residential Real Estate Shopping All Shopping Gear Health & Wellness Home & Kitchen Style Tech & Electronics Coupons All Coupons Purple Squarespace Verizon Lululemon AT&T Lowe's Brooks Brothers Tory Burch Dr Martens Dell Chewy Advisor All Advisor Life Insurance Best Life Insurance Companies Best Term Life Insurance The Best Credit Cards Of 2021 Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards Best Cash Back Credit Cards Best 0% APR Credit Cards Best Travel Credit Cards Best Business Credit Cards Best Travel Insurance Companies Covid-19 Travel Insurance Best Car Insurance Companies Best Personal Loans Best Student Loans Best Student Loan Refinance Student Loan Refinance Calculator Best Tax Software For 2021 Forbes Advisor UK Wheels All Wheels Best Sedans Best Luxury SUVs Best SUVs Best Pickups Best Performance Cars Best Family-Friendly Sedans Best SUVs & Crossovers Lists All Lists Video All Video Newsletters Crypto Confidential Editorial Newsletters Investing Digest Premium Investing Newsletters Forbes Magazine All Forbes Magazine Forbes Asia Free Issue of Forbes Latest Coronavirus Coverage Daily Cover Stories Dark Capital Editors' Picks Election 2020 Visual Web Stories Featured 30 Under 30 2021 All Hands On Data - A Tableau Series | Paid Program Best-In-State Wealth Advisors 2021 BT BrandVoice | Paid Program Data Sharing In The Covid Era | Paid Program DNA Of Success Ecolab BrandVoice | Paid Program Forbes Insights with Capital One | Paid Program Forbes Next 1000 2021 Future Of Work—The New HR Frontier Square BrandVoice | Paid Program The Healthcare Revolution At Home The Macallan BrandVoice | Paid Program The Under 30 Drive | Paid Program Advertise with Forbes Report a Security Issue Site Feedback Contact Us Careers at Forbes Tips Corrections Privacy Do Not Sell My Info Terms AdChoices Reprints & Permissions © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved Subscribe | Sign In BETA This is a BETA experience. You may opt-out by clicking here

More From Forbes

Mar 17, 2021, 09:00am EST Quality: Job No 1, 2, 3…. Mar 17, 2021, 08:58am EST Despite A Rough Start To The 2021 Cup Season Nascar Driver Aric Almirola Keeping Sponsors Happy Mar 17, 2021, 08:58am EST ‘Vaccine Passports’ Could Reopen Global Travel—And Lead To Discrimination, Critics Say Mar 17, 2021, 08:54am EST Pinduoduo Is Now China’s Biggest E-Commerce Platform As Billionaire Chairman Colin Huang Steps Down Mar 17, 2021, 08:43am EST Texas Power Blackouts: Last Standing PUC Commissioner Resigns Amid Controversy Mar 17, 2021, 08:43am EST NCAA Coaching Carousel: T.J. Otzelberger Leaving UNLV For Iowa State Mar 17, 2021, 08:42am EST Yeo Jin-Goo And Shin Ha-Kyun Consider Evil In K-Thriller ‘Beyond Evil’ Mar 17, 2021, 08:39am EST Jason Kipnis Looks For New Life With Atlanta Edit Story Breaking | Jan 26, 2021, 11:09am EST |

Biden To Freeze New Oil And Gas Leasing On Federal Land

Jemima McEvoy Forbes Staff Business I'm a British-born reporter covering breaking news for Forbes. Updated Jan 26, 2021, 12:47pm EST Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin


President Biden plans to announce a suspension of new oil and gas leasing on federal lands Wednesday, according to multiple reports, delivering on a campaign climate pledge that is already receiving strong pushback from the oil industry.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks before signing an executive order ... [+] related to American manufacturing in the South Court Auditorium of the White House complex on January 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden signed an executive order aimed at boosting American manufacturing and strengthening the federal government's Buy American rules. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Key Facts

Biden has drafted an order that will impose a moratorium on new oil and gas auctions on federal land and water as his administration reviews the current program, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

This pause, which is reportedly still awaiting final review, would not impact existing leases, but appears to be a step toward Biden’s campaign pledges to “transition away from the oil industry” and ban future leases.

Bloomberg previously reported a moratorium on new federal coal leasing was also under consideration, but the administration is reportedly leaning away from this option.

Along with the moratorium, Biden will also unveil other plans relating to climate change on Wednesday, according to the reports, including a goal to protect 30% of federal land and water by 2030.

The White House did not immediately confirm these plans with Forbes .

Key Background

Biden has long promised aggressive action on climate change, which he has named one of the four crises he hopes to tackle during his administration. The extraction of fossil fuels from public lands accounts for roughly one-quarter of all U.S. carbon emissions, and environmentalists praise the Biden administration’s pivot away from former President Trump’s efforts to relax regulations . “By pausing the broken leasing system and halting the giveaways to oil and gas executives, President Biden has an opportunity to meaningfully fix the leasing system for the first time in nearly four decades with solutions that work for the public and which incorporate ambitious conservation, taxpayer fairness, and climate goals,” Jenny Rowland-Shea, a senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, told The Washington Post . However, oil and gas groups have warned that this move, along with Biden’s decision to require approval by a top-ranking administration official for any leases or permits granted within the first 60 days of his presidency, will only serve to harm domestic energy producers and state and local governments.

Chief Critic

“Restricting development on federal lands and waters is nothing more than an ‘import more oil’ policy,” Mike Sommers, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, said in a statement sent to Forbes . “Energy demand will continue to rise—especially as the economy recovers—and we can choose to produce that energy here in the United States or rely on foreign countries hostile to American interests.”

Surprising Fact

A short-term freeze poses limited immediate threat to production as many companies still have undeveloped leases in their portfolios that will allow them to continue drilling new wells. In fact, according to a recent Government Accountability Report, only around half of the permits to drill approved between 2014 and 2019 are currently in use. However, drilling advocates are worried about a more severe impending crackdown.

Big Number

$11.7 billion. That’s how much drilling on federal land generated in tax revenue for federal, state, local and tribal governments in 2020.

Further Reading

“Biden’s Order to Freeze New Oil Drilling on Federal Land: What You Need To Know” (Wall Street Journal)

“The Trump Administration Rolled Back More Than 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s The Full List.” (The New York Times)

Follow me on Twitter . Send me a secure tip . Jemima McEvoy

I'm a British-born reporter covering breaking news for Forbes.

Print Reprints & Permissions