President Joe Biden said that he “wanted to stop all drilling,” but could not do so after losing legal battles challenging his administration’s authority during an interview with The Weather Channel aired Wednesday.
Biden made the claim in response to a question from the interview about keeping his sweeping green energy and climate change-related promises to younger voters. “I wanted to stop all drilling on the East Coast, and the West Coast, and in the gulf, but I lost in court,” Biden said.
His administration has rolled out one of the largest green energy spending agendas in American history, led primarily by hundreds of billions of dollars unleashed by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Despite the legal setbacks, Biden said that he and his administration are “still pushing, we’re still pushing really very hard” during the interview.
“The courts overruled me,” Biden said of his administration’s approach to minimizing drilling. Biden attempted to pause all oil and gas drilling on federal lands in 2021, but a Louisiana court blocked that action in August 2022, according to Reuters.
The Biden administration had leased the fewest acres for onshore and offshore drilling of any administration since Harry Truman’s as of September 2022, according to the Institute for Energy Research.
“What we have to do is change the way we generate energy,” Biden said during the interview, adding that he considers climate change an “existential threat.”
As a candidate for the presidency in 2019, Biden delivered a “guarantee” that his administration would “end fossil fuels.” He also remarked in June that “you’re not going to see anybody building a new coal-fired plant in America” because “it’s too expensive,” a reality that is partially attributable to his administration’s strict regulatory approach to fossil fuel-fired power plants.
The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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