Did Biden’s Cancellation of the Alaskan Oil & Gas Leases Increase Gas Prices?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (12985511b)US President Joe Biden waves while walking across the South Lawn to depart the White House by Marine One, en route to Philadelphia, in Washington, DC, USA, 14 June 2022.
MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock / MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The Biden administration canceled three oil and gas lease sales scheduled in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska in early May as gas prices continued to skyrocket.

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The administration fell back on Cook Inlet in Alaska due to a “lack of industry interest in leasing in the area,” according to a statement from the Department of the Interior and as reported by CBS News. The Gulf of Mexico was canceled because of “conflicting court rulings that impacted work on these proposed lease sales.”

Rising gas prices are being attributed to several factors, including an economic recovery that increased the demand for energy as well as Russia’s war in Ukraine, reports CBS News. But even with the cancelation of these three leases, experts say it would have taken years for production to hit the market.

CBS News noted that the impact on gas prices today “means literally nothing,” Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, said on Twitter. “It would have taken half a decade or more to bring any of that potential oil to market.”

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However, CBS News noted that Republican lawmakers say that rising fuel costs should be a reason to sell more leases to drill on federal lands with some criticizing Biden’s decision as hurting the nation’s energy independence.

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For the eighth straight week, the nation’s average gas price continues to climb —  jumping 15.7 cents in a single week to $5.01 per gallon, according to GasBuddy data.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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