The Biden administration made multiple climate and energy announcements the day before Thanksgiving, including releasing a DOI report on oil and gas drilling, approval of an offshore wind farm, and the creation of a new division within the White House to develop climate policy.
DOI Report, Largely Silent On Climate, Calls For Increased Drilling Fees
The Interior Department released a report the day before Thanksgiving calling for increased prices for drilling on public lands and waters. The report explains why royalty rates for oil and gas drilling are too low, the minimum bid of $2 per acre should be increased, and calls for increasing bonding requirements to make sure oil and gas companies set aside sufficient funds to fully cap and remediate well sites. The report largely sidesteps the issue of climate change and does not call for fulfilling President Biden’s campaign promise to ban oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters. (AP, E&E News, CNN, Washington Post $, E&E $, CNBC, Politico Pro $, Axios, New York Times $, The Hill, Reuters, NPR)
Administration Approves Second Major US Offshore Wind Farm
The Biden administration issued final approval for the South Fork Wind project off Rhode Island on Wednesday. The project is the second major offshore wind project approved in U.S. waters, and will produce enough power to supply about 70,000 homes on Long Island. “The offshore wind industry will create thousands of union jobs, reduce air pollution, and combat climate change — the greatest existential threat facing our communities on Long Island,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) in a statement. (E&E News, Washington Post $, AP, Axios, The Hill, Reuters, Politico Pro $, Bloomberg $)
White House Launches New Climate Policy Division Within OSTP
The White House launched a new division within the Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop climate policy on Wednesday. Sally Benson will head the new effort to craft policy to move the U.S. towards achieving the goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035, including shifting away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and electrifying America’s building and transportation sectors. (Washington Post $, Politico Pro $, CNN)