US Senate Bill Could Be Death Blow for Biden Anti-drilling Pledge

"Since this administration wants to advance only wind and solar, the bill would force them not to neglect oil and natural gas," the Western Energy Alliance's Kathleen Sgamma said in regards to the U.S. Senate's proposed spending bill.

Nichola Groom, Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden vowed during his 2020 election campaign to end federal oil and gas drilling as a major step in his strategy to fight climate change.

The U.S. Senate Democrats' $430 billion spending bill agreed this week could kill that pledge. If it passes, it would effectively guarantee continued drilling rights auctions on federal lands and waters for at least another decade.

Still, with Congress set to begin a summer recess by the end of next week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer faces a tricky road to quick passage for the bill, which would be a win for Biden and fellow Democrats hoping to retain control of Congress during midterm elections in November.

The legislation also contains nearly $370 billion for energy security and climate change efforts, including extended and expanded incentives for electric vehicles, solar and wind power. It was agreed on after more than a year of difficult negotiations between Schumer and fellow Democrat Senator Joe Manchin.

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