oil rig

Despite Campaign Rhetoric, Biden’s Drilling Permits on Public Lands Outpace Trump’s.


The Biden government has approved drilling permits on public lands at a far higher rate than former President Trump, going back on his campaign promise to curb fossil fuel development, while gas prices continue to soar nationwide. Analysis of federal data shows Biden has approved drilling permits at an average rate of 333 per month.

Under the Trump administration, the number of approvals was 245 during Trump’s first year in office, with an average of 300 per month by the end of his presidency.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) data analysis revealed that the Biden impact on New Mexico is significantly higher than under the Trump Administration. Data from Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, and California showed similar results, where 3,604 permits have been approved thus far in 2021.

During his campaign, Biden had promised to “[ban] new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters,” as well as “modifying royalties to account for climate costs.”

On November 26th, 2021, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland released a roadmap for the future of federal oil and gas leasing. Haaland’s report proposes little more than raising fees on the oil and gas industry and ensuring that all companies increase their insurance coverage.

The report opens with a paragraph discussing the magnitude of the climate crisis, and goes on to support research stemming from Executive Order 14008.

Executive Order 14008 bases the requirement to curb greenhouse gas emissions on unnamed members of the scientific community, who claim that the world is on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic climate trajectory. At no point in the Order are the details of the contributors or their concerns further explained or cited.

The notion of “threats” is repeated throughout the Order. Details on what those “threats” entail is not provided.

The Order does state the Biden regime’s desire to reach a carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2035, but does not explain how they plan to create the technology required to achieve this goal.

Sec. 208 of the Order states, “the Secretary of the Interior shall pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters pending completion of a comprehensive review and reconsideration of federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices.”

In the first six months of the year (2021), roughly 2,500 permits to drill on public and tribal lands were issued under Biden. At present, the former Senator from Delaware is on a pace that will exceed 6,000 new permits by the end of the year. According to analysis by NPR, this is the most issued since 2008.

Kay Smythe

Kay Smythe is a writer and researcher specializing in social capital. Her work has been published internationally for more than half her life. She currently resides in the USA.

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