Washington, D.C. — Today, responding to news that the Biden administration has approved nearly 1000 more oil and gas drilling permits on public lands than the Trump administration, government watchdog Accountable.US released the following statement.


Of all the environmental issues where President Biden could be surpassing Trump, handing out nearly 1,000 more leases to drill on public lands is not even on the list. Just last month the Biden administration was bragging about making progress to conserve 30 percent of our nation’s land and water. These new permit numbers fly in the face of that critical goal. The public lands leasing program has been ripe for reform for decades. If only the President would finally act.”

Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US

As Politico PRO reported today, “the Biden Interior Department approved nearly 900 more permits to drill on public land in 2021 than the Trump administration had in its first year in office, according to an analysis from progressive group Center for Biological Diversity.” Many of the drilling permits are in New Mexico, the U.S.’s second largest oil-producing state.


  • By November 2021, The Biden Administration Had Already Approved More Oil And Gas Drilling Permits Than The Trump Administration Did Annually For Three Years. The Biden Administration Approved More Oil And Gas Drilling Permits In Ten Months Than The Trump Administration Approved Annually For Three Years. “The Biden administration has approved more oil and gas drilling permits on public lands per month than the Trump administration did during the first three years of Donald Trump’s presidency, according to an analysis shared exclusively with The Climate 202.” [Washington Post, 12/06/21
  • Joe Biden Pledged To End Oil To New Oil And Gas Leasing On Federal Lands: During His 2020 Presidential Campaign, Joe Biden Pledged To End Oil And Gas Drilling On Federal Land. “Biden’s campaign promise to end leasing for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and his early executive order calling for a pause on new federal auctions and review of the leasing program sparked optimism among the greens that he was set to curb output of the fossil fuels driving climate change.” [Politico Pro, 12/03/21]
  • Just Last Month His Administration Boasting About Its “Progress” Towards Conserving 30% Of The Nations Land And Water: The Biden Administration Attempted To Tout Its Conservation Efforts And Progress Toward Protecting 30% Of US Lands And Waters By 2030 In A December Report. “Today, the Biden-Harris Administration issued its first annual progress report on the America the Beautiful initiative, highlighting steps the Administration has taken over the past year to support locally-led and voluntary efforts to conserve, connect, and restore lands and waters across the nation that sustain the health of our communities, power local economies, and help combat climate change. Released by the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the report outlines the collective work to pursue the first-ever national conservation goal established by a President – a goal of conserving at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.” [White House, Press Release, 12/20/21]  

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