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US News Biden attacks oil and gas drilling in the United States

15:35  27 january  2021
15:35  27 january  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Biden s'attaque aux forages de pétrole et de gaz aux Etats-Unis © Supplied by Le Point

D Determined to implement his climate plan, Joe Biden is due to announce measures against drilling in the United States on Wednesday. gas and oil on US federal lands, according to multiple media and a White House memo.

The administration of the Democratic president has drafted a text imposing a moratorium on the granting of new concessions for oil and gas drilling on government lands and waters, according to the Washington Post .

If the moratorium will have no impact on the concessions already granted, it will allow Joe Biden to keep one of his campaign promises.

The United States should also commit to preserving the integrity of 30% of federal lands and waters by 2030, in order to halt the loss of biodiversity, according to several American media.

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Almost a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States come from energy produced on federal land, notes a 2018 government report.

And the granting of oil, gas, or coal mining concessions generated nearly $ 11.7 billion in revenue for the U.S. government in 2019, according to Home Department figures.

With this series of measures, Joe Biden is thus getting closer in a concrete way to his goal of phasing out fossil fuels, and carbon neutrality in the energy sector by 2035 and in the economy as a whole. 'by 2050.

A contested project

But some environmental associations, such as the NGO Oceana, want the new host of the White House to go even further, transforming the moratorium on drilling into a permanent ban.

"By permanently protecting our coasts from polluting drilling in the open sea and by favoring renewable sources of energy, such as offshore wind, we can simultaneously fight climate change and guarantee a green economy for our coasts", explains Diane Hoskins, Oceana spokesperson on the subject.

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The presidential project has also provoked strong criticism in the fossil fuel industry.

"Limiting the exploitation (of fossil fuels) on state lands and waters is nothing less than a policy aimed at + importing more oil", launches Mike Sommers, president of the large federation of professionals in the oil and gas industry in the United States.

"The demand for energy will continue to increase, especially with the improvement of the economic situation, and we can choose to produce this energy here in the United States or to depend on foreign countries hostile to American interests", continues- he.

Climate summit

Joe Biden should give climate change the status of "national security priority" and reconstitute a group of science and technology experts to advise it, says a memo from the executive consulted by the AFP .

It will also announce a climate summit bringing together international leaders in the United States on April 22, Earth day and the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Paris agreement, according to the same source.

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This will be an opportunity for the world's leading power to "sit down at the table of discussions with the others" in order to advance the fight against global warming, before the major UN climate conference is held. (COP26) in the UK in November, points out David Waskow of the World Resources Institute.

The expert expects the United States to raise its environmental objectives, with a potential horizon of a 50% reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

The Democratic president is also due to present to Congress next month his $ 2,000 billion climate plan, which is supposed to put green measures at the heart of the US economy. However, he could face the reluctance of elected Republicans, even if a bipartite agreement remains possible.

"We must not forget that states like Texas and Wyoming also have a strong wind potential," said Sherri Goodman, who worked on environmental issues under the Obama administration.

"The acceleration of the melting of glaciers and pack ice, the collapse of permafrost (deep frozen soils) and the increase in temperatures underline the importance of recognizing the climate as an essential element of our foreign policy", she adds.

27/01/2021 12:10:32 - Washington (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

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