The U.S. oil industry hit a legal roadblock in January. It is when a judge struck down a $192 million oil and natural gas lease sale. That was in the Gulf of Mexico over future global warming emissions from burning the fuels. It came at a pivotal time for Chevron, Exxon, and other industry players. The Biden administration curtailed the opportunities for new offshore drilling while raising climate change concerns. Is the U.S oil and gas industry a climate bill beneficiary?
The industry’s setback was short-lived, however. The climate measure President Joe Biden signed Tuesday bypasses the administration’s concerns. It is about emissions and guarantees new drilling opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. The legislation was crafted to secure backing from a top recipient of oil and gas donations, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, and was shaped in part by industry lobbyists.
While the Inflation Reduction Act concentrates on clean energy incentives that could drastically reduce overall U.S. emissions, it also buoys oil and gas interests by mandating the leasing of vast areas of public lands off the nation’s coasts. And it locks renewables and fossil fuels together: If the Biden administration wants solar and wind on public lands, it must offer new oil and gas leases first.
Source: AP News
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