During a House committee hearing today, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland indicated that the Biden administration would not pursue an oil and gas leasing ban on public lands.
During the hearing, Haaland said, “I don’t think there is a plan right now for a permanent ban.” The administration is preparing a review of the oil and gas leasing program, which will be released this summer.
Haaland’s comments directly contradict Biden’s repeated promises to ban fracking on public lands.
In response, Food & Water Watch Policy Director Mitch Jones released the following statement:
“During the campaign, President Biden explicitly promised to halt new fracking on federal lands. It now seems that Biden has no intention of keeping that promise.
“This would be a disastrous capitulation to the fossil fuel industry, and a worrying sign that this White House is not committed to the kinds of actions necessary to stave off climate catastrophe. Stopping fracking on public lands is an important first step to creating the kinds of climate policies necessary to meet the challenges we face. If President Biden is unwilling to stop drilling and fracking on public lands, it is hard to fathom what climate policies he is willing to fight for.”