President Biden Announces Offshore Leasing Proposal
Oceana calls on President Biden to fulfill his promise to end new offshore drilling
Press Release Date: July 1, 2022
Today, the Biden-Harris administration announced the proposal for the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2023-2028. The Proposed Program calls for up to 10 potential sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one potential lease sale in the Cook Inlet Planning Area off Alaska’s coast.
During his presidential campaign, President Biden pledged to end new leasing for offshore drilling. According to the International Energy Agency, nations must stop developing new oil and gas fields if global warming is to stay within relatively safe limits.
In response to the president’s proposed five-year plan, Oceana campaign director Diane Hoskins issued the following statement:
“It’s disappointing that President Biden is still considering new lease sales, but we’re encouraged that the president put forward a no-new-leasing option. The inevitable conclusion must be finalizing a program that ends new leasing for offshore drilling. New leases are incompatible with efforts to address the climate crisis and won’t help lower gas prices. We know that more leasing for dirty and dangerous offshore drilling and spilling threatens our ocean, climate, and economy.
“The oil and gas industry is lying when they say new leases will help gas prices. Even the previous administration agreed that new leases won’t likely produce oil for more than 10 years. It’s ridiculous to sell more leases when oil companies are not even developing the leases they already have. Oil companies own over 8 million acres of unused leases, or 75% of the total leased acreage of public waters. Ending new leasing for offshore drilling is a vital step to tackle the climate crisis and protect millions of jobs that rely on a healthy ocean.
“But our oceans can be a part of the clean energy solution through responsibly developed offshore wind. We are counting on President Biden to keep his promise and finalize a plan with no new oil and gas lease sales.”
The Trump administration’s previous drilling plan confirmed that new leases will not help gas prices, stating that production “in newly available OCS areas will likely not occur for a decade or more,” and new leasing “cannot provide resources to quickly mitigate the effects of a national energy emergency.”
A recent Oceana analysis found that permanent offshore drilling protections for all unleased federal waters could prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That is the equivalent to taking every car in the United States off the road for the next 15 years. The analysis also found that permanent protections in all unleased federal waters could prevent more than $720 billion in damages to people, property, and the environment.
Earlier this year, the Department of the Interior canceled the Cook Inlet lease sale, citing lack of industry interest.
For more information about Oceana’s efforts to stop the expansion of offshore drilling, please click here.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.usa.oceana.org to learn more.