Bloomberg Law
Jan. 28, 2021, 9:09 PM

Oil, Gas Industry Stockpiled Drilling Leases Before Biden ‘Pause’

Bobby Magill
Bobby Magill

A stockpile of federal oil and gas leases across an Ohio-sized swath of land in the West shows the fossil fuel industry was preparing for a leasing moratorium for years, former Interior Department officials say.

President Joe Biden imposed what he described as a “pause” on federal oil and gas leasing on Wednesday as part of his climate policy—while allowing millions of acres of existing leases to remain unaffected. Nevertheless, industry representatives and elected officials in the West lambasted the move, saying it’ll deprive Western states of much-needed income for basic state services.

But the industry’s “huge inventory” of ...

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