Biden’s ban on drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge
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There are many reasons why gas prices could shoot up in the near future, but the Biden administration’s ban on oil drilling on millions of acres in Alaska in unlikely to be one of them.

The ban, announced on Wednesday, cancels seven Trump-era oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and prevents drilling on more than 13 million acres in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. According to President Biden, he wanted to protect and preserve the region against climate change by imposing the bans.

According to Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, a limited amount of drilling was occurring there prior to the ban, so there’s only a slim chance consumers will suffer more at the pump.

He explained that this was primarily about optics. He added that most oil companies didn’t bid on the drilling leases because they expected them to be canceled. Plus, there wasn’t enough infrastructure in the area, so many stayed away. Basically, the country lacks power to drill for oil, pipelines to transport crude oil, roads, and everything else needed to drill for oil.

Consumers would not be adversely affected by the ban on drilling in the region, De Haan said.

The oil production cuts announced by Russia and Saudi Arabia earlier this week are having immediate effects, lifting Brent crude oil above $91 a barrel for the first time in ten months. The North Sea produces Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices.