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Blocking US oil drilling will backfire on Biden's climate agenda: report

The carbon intensity of U.S. oil and gas drilling, especially offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico, is significantly lower than foreign alternatives, according to an energy industry report released Tuesday morning.

The report — by global consulting firm ICF and commissioned by offshore energy trade group National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) — concluded that U.S. oil production is 23% less carbon-intensive compared to production outside the U.S. and Canada. And the carbon intensity of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is 46% lower than the global average.

“There are a lot of countries out there that don’t use their energy in ways that benefit their country like we do,” NOIA President Erik Milito told Fox News Digital in an interview. “They use it in ways that are geopolitically disadvantageous to countries like the U.S., and it ends up being a tool that they use to assert their political influence.”

“We have an opportunity for continued leasing, continued permitting, continued sensible regulations to make sure our oil production continues to thrive,” he continued. “Taking away U.S. production simply provides that advantage to these other countries that are generally recognized as pollution havens and that use their energy to hurt our national security.”

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“From an energy policy standpoint, this includes an all-of-the-above system of energy, the administration should be making sure that we’re promoting all sources with a focus on continuous reductions in emissions,” Milito said. “We need all sources. The data makes it clear when you look at the pie chart, we’re still continuing to use all different sources of energy.”

“If you’re taking oil off the market, that takes the price of energy up. The Biden administration, Congress, they have the ability to implement policies to either boost or harm U.S. oil and natural gas production,” he continued. “So, let’s make sure that we do it smartly, recognizing that we can do it cleaner, we can do it with far fewer emissions than other parts of the world.” 

NOIA has advocated for the administration to issue a long-awaited and delayed five-year plan for offshore drilling. A proposed version of that plan released last year indicated the administration would consider blocking all new offshore leasing through 2028.

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At the same time, the Energy Information Administration projected in a report this month that global oil demand will increase to 101.3 million barrels per day in 2023 and 103 million barrels a day in 2024.

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