Amid growing concern about inflation, many consumers are particularly concerned over the recent spike in gas prices.
Even with fuel costs at a seven-year high, however, President Joe Biden is not moving to increase domestic oil production — in fact, he is doing the opposite.
“A new, comprehensive analysis”
With Californian motorists shelling out more than $4 per gallon ahead of Memorial Day, the president has announced that his administration will be suspending leases issued under former President Trump to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland released a statement alleging that “multiple legal deficiencies” existed in the leases.
Specifically, she cited “insufficient analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act” and a “failure to adequately analyze a reasonable range of alternatives in the environmental impact statement.”
Haaland’s statement went on to assert that she “shall review the program and, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, conduct a new, comprehensive analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the oil and gas program.”
While the leases could be re-instated after the review, they might also be subjected to additional regulations or canceled entirely.
“Important step forward”
National climate adviser Gina McCarthy released her own statement praising the lease suspension.
“President Biden believes America’s national treasures are cultural and economic cornerstones of our country and he is grateful for the prompt action by the Department of the Interior to suspend all leasing pending a review of decisions made in the last administration’s final days that could have changed the character of this special place forever,” she declared.
McCarthy added that the administration’s move represents an “important step forward” in its “promise to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
Of course, this was not the first move in that direction thus far in the Biden era. Prior examples include his restriction on drilling on public land and the cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline project.
The latter decision represented a serious blow to pipeline workers as well as the businesses supported by the project. In February, Fox News Channel interviewed South Dakota hotel owner Laurie Cox, who is one of the countless business owners expected to be negatively impacted by the cancelation.