The American oil and gas industry is beginning to push back on Biden administration actions to fight climate change, Bloomberg reports. President Biden’s pause of oil and gas leasing on federal land, cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline, and directive to electrify the federal government’s vehicle fleet all pose concerns to different parts of the U.S. oil and gas industry. In recent days, industry executives have claimed reducing American oil and gas extraction will increase global greenhouse gas levels because oil produced from fracking is less GHG-intense than other oil sources worldwide and reducing US extraction could lead to more extraction overseas. Methane pollution caused by fracking could undermine that argument, however.
Fracking in the U.S. is a major driver of methane pollution, and Biden’s executive order to review and establish the societal cost of methane (and other GHG) emissions, could have a substantial impact on the administration’s review of royalty rates for drilling on public lands — rates that have gone unchanged for a century. Last week, President Biden directed the Interior Department to review those rates “to account for corresponding climate costs.” (Industry pushback: Bloomberg $; Royalties: Washington Post $, E&E $)