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US to auction public land for oil, gas drilling as COP28 is set to begin

Nov 28, 2023

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The Biden administration is auctioning off tens of thousands of acres for oil and gas drilling just days before the United Nations COP28 climate summit begins. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management put up 37 parcels spanning 35,000 acres in Wyoming for auction on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Another 26 parcels on 9,000 acres in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nevada, North Dakota, and Utah will come up for bids on Nov. 30, Dec. 5, and Dec. 12, the same time that international leaders will be meeting at COP28 in Dubai to discuss phasing out fossil fuels.

These are the latest of several auctions of federal land for oil production during Biden’s presidency. This year, the Biden administration announced similar auctions for a stretch of the Gulf of Mexico.

“We’re disappointed the Biden Administration did not follow through on a promise of no new leasing, and instead, the residents of the Gulf of Mexico are having their resources sold off for bargain prices once again,” said Christian Wagley, coastal organizer at Healthy Gulf. 

News of this week’s auction has already drawn criticism from environmental groups, who accuse the president of violating a 2020 campaign pledge.

“By the way, no more drilling on federal lands, period,” Biden said while on the campaign trail in 2020.

Once in office, Biden’s attempts to end new leasing of public lands for drilling were blocked by the courts, and the president’s Inflation Reduction Act required oil and gas leases before the federal government could lease land for renewable energy.

Under the Biden administration, the Bureau of Land Management has issued fewer new leases than previous administrations. However, the U.S. is on track to extract a record-breaking amount of oil and gas in 2023.

The U.S. and dozens of other nations attending COP28 in Dubai hope to solidify the world’s first deal to end fossil fuel use altogether, a deal the nations failed to nail down in July. According to White House officials, President Biden will not attend the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

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(Karah Rucker)

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS AUCTIONING OFF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ACRES FOR OIL AND GAS DRILLING THIS WEEK. THE SAME WEEK THE UNITED NATIONS C-O-P-28 CLIMATE SUMMIT KICKS OFF.

THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT’S BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT PUT UP 37 PARCELS SPANNING 35 THOUSAND ACRES IN WYOMING FOR AUCTION TUESDAY. ANOTHER 26 PARCELS ON 9 THOUSAND ACRES IN NEW MEXICO, OKLAHOMA, NEVADA, NORTH DAKOTA, AND UTAH WILL COME UP FOR BIDS OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS — THE SAME TIME THAT INTERNATIONAL LEADERS WILL BE MEETING IN DUBAI TO DISCUSS PHASING OUT FOSSIL FUELS. THESE ARE THE LATEST OF A NUMBER OF AUCTIONS OF FEDERAL LAND FOR OIL PRODUCTION DURING BIDEN’S PRESIDENCY. NEWS OF THIS WEEK’S AUCTION HAS ALREADY DRAWN CRITICISM FROM ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS – WHO ACCUSE THE PRESIDENT OF VIOLATING A 20-20 CAMPAIGN PLEDGE.

Joe Biden (Campaign trail Feb. 9, 2020): “And by the way, no more drilling on federal lands period. period. period. Period. (applause.)”

Karah Rucker: BIDEN’S ATTEMPTS TO END NEW LEASING OF PUBLIC LANDS FOR DRILLING WAS BLOCKED BY THE COURTS – AND THE PRESIDENT’S INFLATION REDUCTION ACT REQUIRED OIL AND GAS LEASES BEFORE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COULD LEASE LAND FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY. UNDER THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, THE B-L-M HAS ISSUED FEWER NEW LEASES THAN PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS. HOWEVER, THE U-S IS ON TRACK TO EXTRACT A RECORD BREAKING AMOUNT OF OIL AND GAS IN 20-23.

Karah Rucker: DOZENS OF NATIONS ARE ATTENDING C-O-P-28 – INCLUDING THE U-S. THESE COUNTRIES HOPE TO SOLIDIFY THE WORLD’S FIRST EVER DEAL TO END THE USE OF FOSSIL-FUELS ALL TOGETHER – A DEAL THEY FAILED TO NAIL DOWN IN JULY. PRESIDENT BIDEN WILL NOT BE ATTENDING THE SUMMIT – ACCORDING TO WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS.

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