Gasoline prices in the U.S. hit a new record on Thursday — the same day the Biden administration canceled three oil-and-gas lease sales. Republican lawmakers are pointing to surging fuel costs as a rationale for selling more leases to drill on federal lands, with some criticizing President Biden's decision as hurting America's energy independence. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy tweeted that the decision "proved their lack of commitment to oil and gas development in the U.S." Gas prices are rising due to a confluence of several trends, including an economic recovery that pushed up demand for energy as well as Russia's war in Ukraine. Against that backdrop, it's no wonder that many lawmakers, consumers and businesses want to see the U.S. energy sector ramp up production. But even if the three lease sales had proceeded, it would have taken years for production to hit the market, experts say. In other words, the impact on gas prices today "means literally nothing," according to Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis. Here's what to know about the canceled lease sales and their impact on gas prices. Why did the Biden administration cancel the sales? The administration said it's not moving forward with lease sales on three potential drilling areas: Cook Inlet in Alaska and two areas in the Gulf of Mexico. The reason for pulling back on Cook Inlet is a "lack of industry interest in leasing in the area," according to a statement from the Department of the Interior. The Biden administration canceled the Gulf of Mexico sales because of "conflicting court rulings that impacted work on these proposed lease sales." How much oil or gas could the regions have produced? According to a 2016 assessment of the proposed lease sales, Cook Inlet would have likely produced more than 200 million barrels of oil. That assumes that the price per barrel sits at about $100, roughly its current level. A decline in oil prices would likely result in lower production, while a higher per-barrel price would incentivize higher product output, the report noted. The canceled Gulf of Mexico lease sales are part of a wider geographic lease sale, and the assessment includes the broader impact of development in the region. Overall production, assuming a price of $100 per barrel, would be more than 5 billion barrels of oil across multiple lease sales, including several areas beyond the two lease sales that were canceled. How does that affect gas prices? In the near term, the lease sale cancelations have no material impact on gas prices . . . read the full article here.