Some Lipstick for the Pig

Here’s some of what’s in the Build Back Reduced bill—formally styled Inflation Reduction Act—that Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) agreed, which Manchin euphemizes as an all-in energy policy:

[T]he Interior Department would be required to offer up at least two million acres of federal land and 60 million acres of offshore acreage to oil and gas producers every year for the next decade. If Interior officials fall short, they wouldn’t be able to advance some permitting aspects of the wind and solar projects on federal land.

Offer up. But at what price? And for what duration before the leases expire? Look for the Biden administration to use lease pricing to actively discourage producers from buying leases, to slow walk the subsequent permit applications that would enable the leases to be acted on, and to use the failure to get the permits on time as excuses to terminate the leases/allow them to expire.

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