In 2023, the United States is expected to extract a higher amount of oil and gas than ever before. Despite warnings about the threat of climate change from President Joe Biden himself, the US continues to solidify its position as the world’s leading producer of fossil fuels.

According to the latest forecast from the federal government, 12.9 million barrels of crude oil will be extracted in 2023. This is more than twice as high as the corresponding figure in 2013.

Even more notably, the US government predicts that fossil fuel extraction will continue at near-record levels until 2050. Liquified natural gas exports will grow 100 percent between now and 2027.

Biden’s mixed record

President Biden has recently enacted significant climate legislation called the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The IRA has led to a surge in investments in solar and wind energy. It’s also boosted sales of electric vehicles.

The Biden administration has also implemented stricter pollution regulations to reduce emissions from vehicles, power plants, and other sources.

Despite Biden’s pledge to prioritize climate action, critics argue that his record has not lived up to expectations.

Although Biden has advanced renewable energy in the US, he considers it politically unfeasible to dismantle the fossil fuel industry through a carbon tax or heavy regulations. The Guardian reports that the Biden administration has continued to issue oil and gas drilling leases on public lands at a pace comparable to the Trump administration.

According to Kelly Gallagher, a former climate adviser to President Barack Obama, the IRA was all about promoting clean energy and not about discouraging fossil fuel use. This has limited the legislation’s effectiveness.

Gallagher also predicts that Biden is unlikely to implement politically contentious climate measures in an election year. The next US presidential election will take place in November 2024.

America’s climate hypocrisy

The record fossil fuel production is likely to confirm environmentalists’ fears that America’s political and economic leaders are grandstanding about climate change.

The US government continues to provide $760 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, second in the world behind China. This is in spite of the US pledging to phase out fossil fuel subsidies at the COP26 climate change conference two years ago.

America’s corporate titans aren’t giving environmentalists much hope either. A report earlier this month found that a group of 12 billionaires emits as many CO2 emissions as roughly 5.2 million Americans. The list of billionaires includes alleged eco-warriors Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Image Source: NewScientist