(Official Washington Examiner editorial, Oct. 4): President Joe Biden still doesn’t understand that high energy prices are at the heart of his embarrassingly low public support and a huge barrier to his reelection.

His Department of the Interior revealed this last week in its belated, legally mandated five-year plan for federal oil- and gas-leasing rights. Not content to have repeatedly tried to limit leases that had been approved, Biden now proposes to sell the smallest number of offshore drilling rights in the history of the federal leasing program. He would also entirely stop leasing off the Alaska coast and in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Only the Gulf of Mexico would be allowed new leases, just three sales in five years. In an early draft of the plan, the Interior Department considered 11 new leases, far higher than what was eventually allowed, so the proposal of just three is a bitter blow to domestic producers and consumers hoping future prices might be lower than they are now. The limit of three is more stringent than the two five-year plans of left-wing former President Barack Obama, who approved more than 10 leases each half-decade. President Donald Trump had planned to propose 47 new lease sales, nearly 16 times as many as Biden.

The prior five-year plan expired in June 2022, so Biden is more than 15 months late with his proposal. Those months of uncertainty combined with the announcement of an indefensibly tight new limit are having the effect Biden intended, which is to hobble domestic energy production. It does the environment no good, though, because other nations with less stringent environmental regulations, emissions limits, and safety rules drill more to make up the difference. Biden’s energy and climate policy is pure vacuous posing.

Domestic limits are also a national security risk…. (The full column is here.]


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