PJ Media's Stephen Green and Rick Moran have been warning us about the problem since the summer, and you can read those warnings here, here, and here. That, of course, is the proverbial bad news. The worse news is that the Biden administration is not serious about refilling the reserve anytime soon. But you probably already knew that.
The Daily Caller reports that the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced on Friday that the Biden administration has released the most restrictive plan for offshore oil and gas lease sales in history. Between now and 2029, there will be a grand total of three lease sales. Three. Not 300. Not 30. Three.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland called it "the smallest number of oil and gas lease sales in history." It is the minimum number the administration could pursue and is part of the DOI's plan to "phase down" oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Haaland added, "The Biden-Harris administration is committed to building a clean energy future that ensures America's energy independence."
The plan has not been received well by some, most notably the National Ocean Industries Association. Association President Erik Milito issued a statement later in the day, calling the move an "utter failure." Milito said:
President Biden's approach to severely limit leasing significantly curtails access to a critical national asset at a time when energy inflation is rampant, the likelihood of a national recession looms, and global efforts are intensifying to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
He added that the move would hurt Americans, boost gas prices, and cut jobs. He also noted that Biden was giving an advantage to countries like China, Russia, and Iran, who have no qualms about accessing oil and gas. He added that the plan would only increase America's dependence on foreign producers and weaken the nation's energy independence.