May 13, 2022

Gas Prices Soar As Biden Admin Cancels Big Alaska Oil Lease

  • Executive

By: Konrad Holden

In Brief: 
On Wednesday, the Biden administration canceled a large oil lease in Alaska and two in the Gulf of Mexico. The leases would allow American gas companies to drill for oil on more than 1 million additional acres of land collectively. At the same time, Americans are seeing gas prices at the pump hit new record numbers on Friday. The Biden administration said the land was not needed since no specific companies have inquired about drilling on the land.

The Background: 
On Friday, the national average price for regular gasoline hit $4.432. The price has soared from $1.87 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to regularly hovering above $4.00.

Politicians have debated the cause of the price surge with some saying that Biden’s willingness to be dependent on foreign oil has spiked the price. Biden says that the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have been the main contributors. 

Meanwhile, Biden’s Department of Interior canceled one large oil lease in Alaska and two in the Gulf of Mexico. The government is required to decide to renew a lease every 5-years. The Biden administration said they decided not to renew the lease because no companies had expressed an interest in drilling on the land.

Former Trump EPA official Steve Milloy said that is caused by the fact that green activists scare oil companies off from drilling: “In Alaska, the problem was that the greens scared off virtually everyone. It's expensive to explore and drill, and the greens made it pretty clear, they were going to make it even more difficult."

"Unfortunately, this is becoming a pattern - the administration talks about the need for more supply and acts to restrict it," said Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute.

Notable Quotes:

"I blame Biden for all lack of production. He has scared away investment." - Steve Milloy, former Trump EPA Official

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