Biden to Halt New Fracking, Oil 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. Additionally, Biden blocked further construction of the Keystone XL pipeline designed to route oil from Canada through the U.S., on its way to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

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 emissions. Biden is also expected to set a goal of protecting 30 percent of federal land and water from future drilling by 2030.

During the third debate between Biden and former President Trump in October, Biden said he would push to “transition” the country away from the oil industry.

“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Biden said. “It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time….And I’d stop giving to the oil industry—I’d stop giving them federal subsidies.”

Biden’s recent executive orders on climate and energy have drawn pushback from the oil and gas industries as well as Canada, a major exporter of oil and gas to the U.S.

“While we welcome the President’s commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfill his election campaign promise on Keystone XL,” Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement last week.

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