Biden Sets in Motion Plan to Ban New Oil and Gas Leases on Federal Land

“The president will announce a suite of executive actions on Wednesday to combat climate change, two people familiar with his plans said, and will ask federal agencies to determine the extent of a drilling ban.”

“WASHINGTON — President Biden on Wednesday will direct federal agencies to determine how expansive a ban on new oil and gas leasing on federal land should be, part of a suite of executive orders that will effectively launch his agenda to combat climate change, two people with knowledge of the president’s plans said Monday.

An eventual ban on new drilling leases would fulfill a campaign promise that infuriated the oil industry and became a central theme in the fight for the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania, where the natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has become big business.

The move is the most prominent of several that Mr. Biden with announce Wednesday, the two people said. The president also will direct the government to conserve 30 percent of all federal land and water by 2030, create a task force to assemble a governmentwide action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, issue a memorandum elevating climate change to a national security priority. Mr. Biden will also create several new commissions and positions within the government focused on environmental justice and environmentally friendly job creation, including one to help displaced coal communities.”

Lisa Friedman reports for the New York Times January 25, 2021.