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Politics Fact check: Biden temporarily banned new oil and gas leasing on public lands

02:50  31 january  2021
02:50  31 january  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

No, Joe Biden still isn't banning fracking

  No, Joe Biden still isn't banning fracking President Joe Biden is cracking down on the oil-and-gas industry, but he is not taking the extreme steps the Trump campaign claimed he would last fall. © Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images Equipment at a fracking well is pictured at Capitan Energy on May 7, 2020 in Culberson County, Texas. - For oil and gas producers in the world's largest oil field, straddling the border between Texas and New Mexico, the losses due to the collapse of oil prices are colossal.

The Biden administration’s moratorium of oil and gas leasing on federal public land faced an immediate legal attack from an energy industry group.Western Energy Alliance, which says it represents 200 oil and natural gas companies, said the administration’s suspension of leases is The group successfully challenged former President Barack Obama’s rule governing gas venting and flaring on federal land and also tangled with the Obama administration over fracking restrictions on public lands . Wednesday’s suspension drew sharp criticism from other energy industry lobbyists, including the New

Texas Rep. Kevin Brady tells 'Your World' that the Biden administration is attacking the state's oil and gas industry with his climate agenda. Since the Trump administration defined China as a strategic rival in 2018, Washington and Beijing have frequently clashed over issues ranging from trade to Beijing's handling of the coronavirus, and the new administration of President Joe Biden is expected to maintain pressure on China.

The claim: Biden is banning fracking

a man sitting at a table using a laptop: President Joe Biden signs his first executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. © Evan Vucci, AP President Joe Biden signs his first executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington.

A Jan. 25 Facebook post denounced fact-checkers for misjudging a Trump campaign talking point about President Joe Biden putting an end to fracking.

The post is a meme that compares a headline from a Washington Post fact-check article published in October to a Jan. 20 piece in conservative opinion website Townhall written by Katie Pavlich.

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Mr Biden said fossil fuels had to be replaced by renewable energy over time with the US moving towards net zero emissions. Democrats from the left of the party are enthused by the idea of the US ending its reliance on oil and gas as part of the fight against climate change. Earlier in the campaign cycle Mr Biden had suggested to voters that he favoured ending fracking, but since becoming the Democratic White House nominee he has said his policy is more limited - to end fracking leases on federal land .

President Biden is expected to suspend new leases for fracking and oil drilling on federal lands on Wednesday. Biden has already signed a number of executive orders aimed at overturning Trump administration policies, including a return to the Paris climate accord. The Biden administration has drafted an executive order to halt drilling on federal land pending a review of the federal oil and gas leasing program, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. The order is expected to come as part of a package that will address land conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gas

In "Trump campaign promotes false claim that Biden would end fracking," the Post gave the Trump team's assertion that Biden would eliminate fracking "Four Pinnochios."

Underneath Facebook post's headline is the comment "And look what Biden is doing," with arrows pointing down to Pavlich's article headline, "Biden Administration: Yes, We Are Following Through With a Fracking Ban" to refute that false rating.

"Where have those 'fact checkers' gone anyways," the post caption states.

USA TODAY reached out to the poster for comment.

Fracking, the process of extracting natural gas from the earth through drilling, was a recurrent topic during the 2020 presidential debates. Neither headline featured in the claim tells the full story of Biden's fracking policy.

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden signs series of orders to tackle climate change | Republicans press Granholm on fossil fuels during confirmation hearing

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Presidents don’t have authority to ban leasing on public lands . All Americans own the oil and natural gas beneath public lands , and Congress has directed them to be responsibly developed on their behalf,” Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma said in a statement, according to The Washington The Biden executive order sets up a “pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters to the extent possible” and will launch a “rigorous review of all existing leasing and permitting practices related to fossil fuel development on public lands and waters,” according to

Biden ’s website has a lengthy description of his climate proposal, which is called “Joe’s Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice.” The plan includes a call for 100% clean energy and net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as a proposal to ban on new oil and gas permits on public He said he wants to stop all oil and gas drilling on federal lands — the federal government doesn’t have much control over state lands . “I think we should in fact be looking at what exists now and making a judgment whether or not those in fact that are there, those wells that are there, whether or not

More: Fact check: Marines did not salute Joe Biden before he was sworn in, per protocol

Did Biden propose a fracking ban?

The Biden campaign emphasized the dangers posed to the environment by fossil fuel extraction in a $1.7 trillion Clean Energy Revolution proposal, according to the campaign's website.

But during the last presidential debate on Oct. 23, then-Democratic presidential nominee Biden said he would rule out eliminating all fracking.

"I do rule out banning fracking because the answer we need — We need other industries to transition to get to, ultimately, a complete zero emissions by 2025," he said, according to a transcript. "What I will do with fracking over time is make sure that we can capture the emissions from the fracking. Capture the emissions from gas. We can do that and we can do that by investing money into — It's a transition to that."

Despite Biden's statement, former President Donald Trump accused him of declaring war on the oil industry, USA TODAY reported in October.

Undoing Trump's policies and other things Biden did his first week as president

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The Biden administration is expected to announce a temporary suspension of new oil and gas leasing on U.S. federal lands and waters on Wednesday, and to order that nearly a third of federally run acreage is conserved over the next decade, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Biden had vowed to ban new federal oil and gas drilling during his campaign for the White House, and his Interior Department last week issued a 60-day suspension of routine drilling approvals pending a review of the program in what was widely viewed as a precursor to a more permanent ban .

President Joe Biden is set to announce a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands and waters, as his administration moves quickly to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment and address climate change. Two people with knowledge of Biden ’s plans outlined the proposed moratorium, which will be announced Wednesday. The move follows a 60-day suspension of new drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters announced last week and follows Biden ’s campaign pledge to halt new drilling on federally controlled land and water as part of his plan to

More: Why the Biden and Trump campaigns both claim they won the final 2020 presidential debate

A December 2019 report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute estimates a fracking ban imposed in 2021 would cost the U.S. economy 19 million jobs and reduce gross domestic Pproduct by $7.1 trillion.

Temporary moratorium on oil and gas leases

The Washington Post article cited in the meme fact-checks a Trump campaign advertisement that uses Biden soundbites to falsely claim he will ban all fracking.

The Townhall article references Press Secretary Jen Psaki's Jan. 20 statement on Biden's executive action to place a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing only in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

It states that Psaki confirmed "President Biden will follow through with campaign promises to ban new fracking on federal land." The article recaps an exchange between a reporter, who asks if the White House still plans to end new oil and gas leases for federal land, and Psaki, who answers, "We do and the leases will be reviewed by our team."

Cheney offers bill to prohibit suspension of oil, gas, coal leases

  Cheney offers bill to prohibit suspension of oil, gas, coal leases Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) introduced two bills Thursday seeking to block the White House plan to pause leases for oil, gas or coal on federal lands, a key part of its expansive climate change platform.Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican and the representative of a major fossil fuel-producing state, said the Safeguarding Oil and Gas Leasing and Permitting Act and the Safeguarding Coal Leasing Act would force the Biden administration to obtain a joint resolution of approval for Congress before implementing any federal moratorium on oil and gas leasing or permitting or coal leasing. The bills are similar to one from Wyoming Sen.

The order was a precursor to a Jan. 27 executive order that paused new leasing on public lands and offshore waters, according to The White House.

More: Fact Check: Joe Biden wants to eliminate new fracking permits, not all fracking

The article does not mention Trump's campaign-era accusations against the president's policy on fracking.

USA TODAY reached out to Townhall for comment.

Biden reiterated his stance on the practice and committed to reviewing and resetting the oil and gas leasing program in his Jan. 27 remarks.

"Let me be clear, and I know this always comes up: We’re not going to ban fracking.  We’ll protect jobs and grow jobs, including through stronger standards, like controls from methane leaks and union workers in — willing to install the changes," he said.

The Biden administration has not followed through with a ban on fracking, as the claim states.

Our rating: False

We rate this claim FALSE, based on our research. A Facebook claim stating that Biden is following through with a fracking ban referenced an article from a conservative opinion website that notes the Biden administration's recent environmental action. Biden signed two executive orders placing a temporary moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters, but he has not banned fracking. The president said he will not put an end to fracking in remarks released by the White House.

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  A chasm opens in COVID-19 relief talks. Can Biden and Republicans close the trillion-dollar gap? President Joe Biden and group of Senate Republicans huddle at the White House in an effort to reach consensus on a COVID-19 relief plan.Senate Republicans, no longer in power but still a formidable force in a chamber split 50-50 between parties, have balked at the proposal's price tag. A group of 10 senators offered a competing proposal – with about two-thirds less funding than Biden called for.

Our fact-check sources:

  • The Washington Post, Oct. 7, 2020: "Trump campaign promotes false claim that Biden would end fracking"
  • Town Hall, Jan. 20: "Biden Administration: Yes, We Are Following Through With a Fracking Ban"
  • Townhall, accessed Jan. 30: "Townhall.com - the Leading Conservative and Political Opinion Website"
  • USA TODAY, Oct. 23, 2020: "Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker"
  • USA TODAY, Oct. 25, 2020: "Why the Biden and Trump campaigns both claim they won the final 2020 presidential debate"
  • The White House, Jan. 20: "Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, January 20, 2021"
  • Biden campaign website: "THE BIDEN PLAN FOR A CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE"
  • The White House, Jan. 27: "Remarks by President Biden Before Signing Executive Actions on Tackling Climate Change, Creating Jobs, and Restoring Scientific Integrity"
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute, accessed Jan. 30: "WHAT IF... HYDRAULIC FRACTURING WAS BANNED? CLOSED CLOSED THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF THE SHALE REVOLUTION AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF ENDING IT"

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Biden temporarily banned new oil and gas leasing on public lands

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