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Data: BloombergNEF; Note: 2020 reflects the average through September; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The first phase of the Biden administration plan to thwart new oil and natural gas permitting on federal lands has arrived.

Driving the news: An Interior Department order Thursday imposes a 60-day freeze on new drilling permits, leases, lease extensions and other actions, though it "does not limit existing operations."

Why it matters: Oil production on federal lands is a smaller share of domestic output than it was before the fracking boom that's centered more on private lands.

The big picture: The temporary order comes ahead of what's expected to be a wider effort to limit new development, given that Biden's platform called for "banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters."

  • But that said, it's still quite significant.

Yes, but: The effects of these policies could be limited in the near-term because many companies have a large inventory of existing permits.

  • A new Goldman Sachs note says several oil-and-gas producers with the most exposure to federal lands "have indicated they have 3-4 years of inventory already permitted."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Chevron posts another quarterly loss under weight of pandemic

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Chevron posted another quarterly loss Friday in the latest sign of how the pandemic is still weighing on oil companies despite some price recovery during the second half of the year.

Driving the news: The oil giant reported a $665 million loss for the October-December period, but it shrinks to $11 million on an adjusted basis after considering charges on its acquisition of Noble Energy and "foreign currency effects."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.