US News Climate: Joe Biden could have refrain from selling plots for oil and gas drilling

23:35  13 december  2021
23:35  13 december  2021 Source:   liberation.fr

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Le président Joe Biden, samedi. © Kevin Lamarque President Joe Biden on Saturday.

Does the Biden administration knowingly lied? On November 17, the US government held the most important auction of oil and gas boreholes of its history. A few days after Glasgow's Cop26 on the climate, he said forced to set a territory of 320,000 km2 in the open sea, in the Gulf of Mexico. What extracts 1.1 billion barrels of oil and 125 billion m3 of gas. Biden would have been legally obliged to trigger such an operation, because of a court decision preventing him from pausing in this type of sale. On Monday, the Guardian reveals that it was not really related feet and fists.

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The British newspaper reveals a memo deposited by the US Department of Justice before the sale of leases. It specifies that the government was not forced to immediately resume auction. "They did not have to hold this sale and they did not have to hold it at this deadline" , in deduce Thomas Meyer, director of the National Organization of Food and Water Watch interviewed by the Guardian . He continues: "We know that this will exacerbate the climate crisis, undermine the credibility of the United States abroad and contradicted a biden election promise. If the government took the climate crisis seriously, it was fighting and nail to keep each fossil fuel molecule in the ground. "

In May, the International Energy Agency warned that to limit the global warming at 1.5 ° C , any new project should be abandoned today in fossil fuel extraction ( gas, oil and coal). These are responsible for nearly 80% of CO2 emissions.

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"Problematic and disappointing"

Democratic primary, the candidate Biden did not want to give "no possibility to the oil industry to continue driving, point on the line". has arrived in power, he wanted to take a general break in the oil and gas race, the time to keep a moratorium on new drill licenses in federal waters. But a dozen states led to legal actions to oppose it. In June, a Federal Justice of Louisiana appointed by former President Donald Trump issued a decision forcing the administration to obtain the approval of the Congress for his break.

In November, a total of 308 parcels of the Gulf of Mexico seabed were finally sold at Exxon, Chevron or BP, the company responsible for the country's worst of the country in 2010 . The US state has gained $ 191.6 million (€ 169.6 million).

Like Earthjustice, many NGOs point the hypocrisy of such a decision while the United States has recently committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. "The Biden Administration speaks of A climate crisis and a net reduction in emissions, then makes decisions like this which guarantee us harmful effects for the coming decades. These leases could potentially produce oil in fifty years. We do not have a good answer as to why they do that. This is problematic and disappointing ", note in the Guardian Brettny Hardy, lawyer at Earthjustice. According to her, the sale could have minimated being delayed. Its environmental association has brought lawsuits to end the leases before their entry into force in February.

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