On Friday, Joe Biden’s administration announced plans to issue oil and gas drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico, a move that has sparked controversy and challenges Biden’s promise not to authorize new drilling for fossil fuels on federal lands.
Despite criticism from environmental groups and the hydrocarbon industry, the Democratic administration plans to grant permits for three drilling zones, the lowest number in history, according to the Department of the Interior. This decision has been met with skepticism as it contradicts Biden’s previous actions to address the climate crisis, including banning new oil and gas development in a vast area of northern Alaska this year.
The government justifies this action by arguing that it is legally obliged to open hydrocarbon exploitation permits to authorize wind energy projects. Although the number of permits is lower compared to the previous Trump administration’s expectations, it is still seen as a controversial decision as it undermines efforts to move toward more sustainable and renewable energy sources.
This decision highlights the complex tensions between economic needs and environmental concerns in US energy policy as the country struggles to find a balance between energy demand and environmental protection amid the growing global climate crisis.