Biden Administration Pauses Federal Permitting for Oil, Gas

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden meets workers as he tours the Fiat Chrysler plant in Detroit, Michigan on March 10, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The Biden Department of Interior has paused oil and gas leasing and permitting on federal lands for 60 days as part of an effort to review the program’s policy ramifications, according to an agency memo obtained by Reuters.


The move comes after a newly-sworn-in Biden signed executive orders aimed at combating climate change, including placing the U.S. back into the Paris accord and pausing oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Additionally, Biden has canceled the highly lucrative Keystone XL pipeline and ordered agencies to review over 100 other environment directives by the Trump administration.

The 1,700-mile (2,735-kilometer) pipeline was planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

“The Permit is hereby revoked,” Biden’s executive order says. “Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

Keystone XL President Richard Prior said over 1,000 jobs, the majority unionized, will be eliminated in the coming weeks. “We will begin a safe and orderly shut-down of construction,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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