Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 6, 2022


Taylor McKinnon, (801) 300-2414,

Biden Begins Massive Inflation Reduction Act Oil Leasing on Public Lands

WASHINGTON— The Bureau of Land Management announced plans this morning to begin auctioning off oil and gas leases to satisfy Inflation Reduction Act provisions that condition renewable energy rights-of-way on new oil and gas leasing.

“These announcements perpetuate the fiction that we can expand fossil fuel developments and still have a chance of avoiding the catastrophes of 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming,” said Taylor McKinnon at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Nothing about the Inflation Reduction Act changes the fact that each new fossil fuel lease sold and developed will worsen the climate crisis and its escalating harm to people and the environment around the world. This is a complete disaster.”

Citing the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bureau this morning announced plans to auction off leases, in the first half of 2023, that span more than 250,000 acres of public lands in Wyoming and more than 10,000 acres in New Mexico and Oklahoma. The public has 30 days to respond to the proposals.

Several analyses show that climate pollution from the world’s already-producing fossil fuel fields, if fully developed, will push warming past 1.5 degrees Celsius. Avoiding such warming requires ending new investment in fossil fuel projects and phasing out production to keep as much as 40% of already-developed fields in the ground.

Frontline and climate groups slammed the Inflation Reduction Act’s oil and gas leasing provisions for perpetuating the climate crisis and decades of environmental injustice wrought on people living in sacrifice zones by fossil fuel companies and the federal government.

Thousands of organizations and communities across the United States have called on President Biden to halt federal fossil fuel expansion, phase out production consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and develop new rules under long-ignored legal authorities to serve those goals.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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