The US Interior Department is reportedly cancelling oil and gas lease sales from public lands from June this year due to an ongoing review of how the programme contributes to climate change.
The Associated Press reported that the move will not impact the leases that are currently in place.
Interior Bureau of Land Management deputy director Nada Culver explained that the agency has also issued new drilling permits during the open-ended review ordered by the White House.
An end date for the review has not been established, but an interim report expected to release this summer could reveal information about the long-term plans for lease sales.
The petroleum industry and its Republican allies in Congress revealed that the oil and gas suspension could harm the economies of Western states without putting a significant dent in climate change.
Oil and gas lease sales from public lands were earlier postponed or suspended in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
It is said that 24% of the nation’s greenhouse gases (GHG) come from the burning of oil, gas, and coal from government-owned land and water.
The majority of the GHG emissions were reported from oil and gas located on the federal lands after a drilling surge under President Trump.
In January, Biden directed officials to review if the leasing programme unfairly benefits companies at the expense of taxpayers, as well as the impact on climate change.
The nation’s federal courts also blocked prior leases in several western states following lawsuits from conservation groups.