Interior halts new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands in first step toward Biden’s promised ban

President Biden is starting to make good on his promise to halt new oil and gas leasing on federal lands, at least temporarily.

The Interior Department won’t issue any new leases for fossil fuel production on federal lands or in federal waters for at least 60 days unless there is approval by top leadership, according to an order on Thursday from acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega. Operations under existing leases, however, will proceed unchanged under the order.

Though de la Vega’s order is only temporary, Biden pledged on the campaign trail to bar new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands permanently.

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