The Biden administration is reportedly giving equal consideration to plans that would open up zero, some, or all 11 possible offshore oil and gas drilling sales across the United States.
According to the Department of Interior’s July oil and gas leasing proposals, an area within Alaska’s Cook Inlet and up to 10 sales in the Gulf of Mexico are still up for consideration.
The news comes one day after an offshore drilling plan established by the administration of former President Barack Obama expired and the cancellation of a planned lease sale in Cook Inlet earlier this year, The Hill reported.
Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said in a statement that he was pleased with the department considering the increase in leases but disappointed that it would not consider any new leasing.
“Our leasing programs are a critical component of American energy security,” Manchin said, according to E&E News.
“I hope the Administration will ultimately greenlight a plan that will expand domestic energy production, done in the cleanest way possible, while also taking the necessary steps to get our offshore leasing program back on track to give the necessary market signals to provide price relief for every American.”
The news comes as gas prices near around $4.84 per gallon nationwide, and up to $6.27 in California, according to data from AAA.
President Joe Biden told reporters at a NATO summit on Thursday that he would not ask Saudi Arabia about increasing oil production to lower the international price of oil and gas, per Yahoo News.
“All the Gulf States are meeting. I’ve indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing oil production generically, not the Saudis particularly, and I think that we see them in their own interest concluding that makes sense to do,” Biden said.