The United States offers opportunities for massive investments in oil fields

The Biden government is creating the potential for oil and gas production on a historical scale. United State in a week It plans to auction rents for 80 million acres (323,000 square kilometers) of fossil energy. The news came shortly after nearly 2,600 delegates reaffirmed their commitment to reducing emissions at the 26th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow.

Superficial criticism followed the decisions of the Glasgow Climate Summit. To ensure global warming does not exceed 1.5 degrees by 2100, the world must become carbon neutral by mid-century. Although the final document COP26 calls on exporting countries to meet the targets, it does so It does not set deadlines and obligations for individual states.

Previously inform us How net zero emissions sustain profitable destruction of polluting companies.

By comparison, the Biden government is now bidding for oil and gas extraction in an area of ​​Poland, largely in the Gulf of Mexico. It is doing so weeks ago due to the damage to infrastructure due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida. Thousands of barrels of oil are polluted Water on the coast of Louisiana.

The Gulf of Mexico is particularly vulnerable to the effects of destructive activities. The recording went viral this summer, as an underwater oil pipeline from a Mexican state-owned oil company caught fire covering the sea surface. The polluting activity of industrial agriculture is no different. The chemicals used in intensive farming are washed from the soil into the sea, where they cause massive algae growth. As a result of this phenomenon, the size of the hypoxic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico was already estimated at 20 thousand square kilometers in 2019.

conflict of interest

Back in January, Biden announced a suspension of land leased for fossil fuels, at least pending the completion of environmental impact assessments for the sites in question. However, Louisiana and dozens of other states interested in extracting oil have challenged the president’s order in court.

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In June, a federal judge in Louisiana lifted the suspension of lease contracts.

Although the Biden government has submitted its appeal, the US Department of the Interior still plans to prepare a tender to lease 734,000 acres of land and hundreds of thousands of acres of open water.

Since the Department of the Interior and the Organization for the Control of Ocean Energy Production (BOEM) generate economic returns through leased land, they are often very lax when assessing applications. Government Accountability Office In his opinion Leases have to be severely redesigned as permits are often abused.

An environmental impact study conducted in 2017 acknowledges some of the negative environmental consequences of selling new leases, but cynically claims that it will not contribute significantly to increased greenhouse gas emissions, since the oil and gas that would have to be consumed would have to be purchased anyway. The study estimates that the new lease contracts will produce one billion and 120 million barrels of crude oil and 120 billion cubic meters of gas in the announced areas.

However, according to experts, this is a complete lie. In fact, the rate of extraction contributes to a drastic increase in environmental emissions. Fossil energy production is currently responsible for 24 percent of US emissions. According to the researchers, if we succeed in preventing new areas of investment in the environment, carbon emissions in the United States could be reduced by up to 280 million tons by 2030.

two good birds

A similarly committed British government decided to extract more fossil energy. as Notified us earlier On this subject, the government decided to extract more oil fields in the North Sea.

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Based on the British decision, oil and gas from the Campo oil field will be brought to the surface from 2022 to 2050. The oil field off the Shetland Islands is said to contain more than 800 million barrels of oil, of which 150-170 million barrels will be brought to the surface from By field owners, Siccar Point Energy and Shell. This, if used – and why not – would be equivalent to the annual emissions of 16 coal-fired thermal power plants.

The decision is inconsistent with the International Energy Agency recommendation Nor should governments support new fossil energy projects if they are to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Dozens of organizations are protesting against investment decisions in environmental destruction.

Cover Photo: Peter Prokosch

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