Biden Administration’s 5-Year Oil and Gas Leasing Plan Is a Test of Climate Leadership

In response to the release of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) first draft for its 5-Year Oil and Gas Leasing Program, Evergreen Action Chief of Staff Lena Moffitt released the following statement:

“President Biden campaigned, and won, on a promise to end new fossil fuel leasing on our public lands and offshore waters––which is critical for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change and ending more handouts to Big Oil. While we are encouraged to see the Department of Interior’s draft offshore drilling plan reiterate the Secretary’s authority to end new leasing and include an option that does so, we are dismayed that the Department leaves the door open to two annual lease sales in the Gulf and one in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. The reality is clear: new leasing would ultimately do nothing to lower gas prices, and would only further grow oil industry profits—even as Big Oil continues to gouge Americans at the pump.

“The good news is that the draft drilling plan is now subject to robust public input and provides the administration the opportunity to make the right choice for our communities and climate: No new leasing. The administration must prioritize stopping all new offshore sales - any new leasing would be incompatible with the science, with President Biden’s climate and environmental justice commitments, and with an economy that supports American consumers with cheaper clean energy. It’s time we say no to more giveaways to fossil fuel corporations and end any new offshore oil and gas leasing.” 

Evergreen Action recently partnered with Earthjustice to release a report, Meeting the Moment: How President Biden Can Align the Federal Fossil Fuel Program to Deliver on Climate and Put People Over Profits, highlighting clear policy recommendations to overhaul the current federal leasing program including a key recommendation to offer no new offshore leasing in this updated five-year plan. You can read the full report here.