Biden Poised to Freeze Oil and Coal Leasing on Federal Land – by Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Ari Natter (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – January 21, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden is poised to suspend the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land, which accounts for about 10% of U.S. supplies, according to four people familiar with the matter.

The moratorium, which would also freeze coal leasing, is set to be unveiled along with a raft of other climate policies next week, according to the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss plans not yet public.

The move would block the sale of new mining and drilling rights across some 700 million acres (2.8 million hectares) of federal land. It could also block offshore oil and gas leasing, though details are still being developed, some of the people said.

Spokesmen for the White House and Interior Department, which overseas leasing on federal land, declined to comment.

Oil and gas producers were the worst-performing group in the S&P 500 Index on Thursday. EOG Resources Inc. plunged 8.6%, its biggest one-day retreat since the end of November. Devon Energy Corp. slid 7.9% for its worst performance since September.

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