Biden to suspend new federal oil and gas leasing pending review

WASHINGTON – President Biden plans to halt new oil and gas leases on the federal sector on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter said, setting up a confrontation with the oil industry over the future of American energy.

The Biden administration has drafted an order to implement the moratorium, reviewing the federal oil and gas leasing program, the people said, potentially as a first step toward its campaign to phase out future leases. The order is expected to be included in a package of government measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting land conservation.

As a candidate, Mr Biden said he would push the country to “transition away from the oil industry” due to its pollution, and has worked to do so more quickly and roughly than many expected .

In addition to the oil and gas leasing prohibition, Mr. Biden hopes to set a goal of protecting 30% of federal land and water by 2030, the people said. President Obama plans to reestablish a White House council of science advisors set up during the administration. Mr. Biden’s plans were previously reported by Bloomberg News and other publications.

Administration officials have discussed holding a possible climate change summit on Earth Day on April 22, one of the people said, but officials have not yet finalized those plans. During his campaign, Mr. Biden vowed to convene a conference of leaders around the world to discuss climate change early in his administration.


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