President Joe Biden is expected to announce a moratorium on future oil and gas drilling permits to end drilling on federal lands and the continental shelf.
The move, fulfilling part of his campaign pledge which has long been anticipated by the oil and gas industry, follows and order mandating a 60-day restriction for new onshore and offshore fossil fuel leases.
Almost a quarter of US oil production and 12% of natural gas production takes place on federal land and water.
According to the Interior Department’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue federal drilling programmes generated $11.7 billion (€9.6 billion) in tax revenue.
If the moratorium extends to all active leases on federal lands, this will be gone, despite the mushrooming 2020 federal debt of $27 trillion (€22 trillion) and budget deficit of over $3 trillion (€2.4 trillion).
The president did not conceal his intentions to pursue such a strategy, and companies aggressively pursued drilling permits in the months surrounding the election even as they were forced to otherwise downsize due to COVID reduced demand.
As the mandate does not inhibit previously acquired permits, those who thought ahead could endure the moratorium in hopes of it being ended by a future administration.
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