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[OC] What is happening to La Liga? Why are the goals drying up, why are the top clubs struggling so much?

Small edit to make something clear: the thing I'm concerned about is not the end of the era of domination by Barça and Madrid, but rather the generally decreasing attractiveness of the league to neutrals. I don't mind Cádiz and Getafe improving and winning against the big two, but I'd (obviously) prefer them to win 4-3 or 3-1 instead of shithousing a 1-0 win (which is also not me trying to play down their achievement or saying they should rather play attractive football instead of trying to win at all costs).
Being a big fan of Spanish football and La Liga myself, I wrote a comment on the Monday Moan thread stating how I'm nearly starting to get jealous of the drama and spectacle in EPL, Ligue 1, etc. Now, instead of spending my Monday moaning, I decided to give it some thought of my own and analyze the situation in La Liga, the league that has been dominated by 2 of football's biggest and most succesful teams for the biggest part of its existence. I will be studying (sports) journalism starting November, so a little bit of extra practice won't hurt.
First of all, I'm German, grew up supporting Madrid, but by following La Liga, travelling Spain, visiting various stadiums and speaking the language fluently, I started to become insanely invested in Spanish football, and I now hold sympathies for teams all over Spains first 3 divisions (Espanyol, Málaga, Tenerife, Dépor, Cádiz (and RM Castilla of course)). So I'm trying to get rid of any existing bias for this post.

What is happening to La Liga?

This is (as to be expected, or I wouldn't be writing this) a question that can't be answered easily, but has to be analyzed from various perspectives, on and off the pitch.

The gap between top and bottom is narrowing.

Financially, La Liga has never been closer together. There are various reasons for this.
  1. The re-distribution of TV money as agreed in Real Decreto - ley 05/2015 of 30. April 2015
  2. The inflated market being beneficiary for midtable and lower sides as selling clubs
  3. Mistakes made by Madrid, Barça and Atleti in the inflated market
Most importantly, LFP is obliged by law to redistribute the revenue made through marketing of each club's audiovisual rights, starting with the 2015/16 season in La Liga and Segunda División.
I have linked the Spanish version of this law above, but you can see all the changes made to the distribution of TV money (in English) on this offical La Liga page.
The main difference is, clubs can no longer negiotate deals with broadcasters for their TV rights themselves, instead, LFP negotiate the deal, and clubs get a share determined by a common distribution key.
This, in general, is a very good change that has been eagerly awaited by basically all clubs except for Barça and Madrid. Just to put the situation before the law came into place into perspective, Atlético, who won the league in the season before, only made 42m€ from TV rights in 2014/15, while Barça and Madrid shared 280m€ between the two. To further demonstrate how absurd the distribution before 2015 was, Cardiff City, who were relegated after finishing bottom of the PL in 2013/14, received 74,5m€ (Source: B/R).
This change was enforced by the government not because, but despite the efforts of LFP, who wanted ongoing dominance of the two Spanish giants, to not only see them successful in international competition, but also to keep La Liga attractive for fans all over the world, fascinated by monsterous scorelines and goalfests produced by the big two.

This table shows the average TV money received by some clubs from 2013-16 and 2016-2019, followed by the percentage of increase from period 1 to period 2.
As you can see in the table above, the big two have only marginally increased their average TV income per season, while most "smaller" clubs' average TV income has massively increased, Atleti and Celta even increasing their TV rights revenue by more than a 100%.
A second, minor aspect is the inflated market being very beneficiary to selling clubs in La Liga. As visible in this list on transfermarkt focusing on net spend of La Liga clubs in the period between 2015 and now, except for the big 3 clubs, only Valencia, Sevilla, Getafe, Betis, Osasuna and Mallorca have positive net spend. All other 20 clubs featuring in La Liga in that period have negative net spend, therefore having made profit on the transfer market, with Málaga (81.25m€), Athletic (59.6m€) and Las Palmas (32.7m€) topping the list.
On the other hand, we have Barça with a net spend of 368.3m€, Madrid with 130m€ and Atleti with 22.65m€. All of this with, as mentioned, stagnating TV revenue.
Investment, in general, is to be expected for such massive football clubs. Barça and Atleti have mainly been investing in well-developed players to guarantee them immediate success (Griezmann, Coutinho, Pjanic, Vidal for Barça, Costa, Carrasco, Morata, Gameiro for Atleti). This strategy is not exactly working well for these clubs, especially Barça were surely aiming to further prolong their national dominance and to strive for better results in international competition, yet they missed out on the last two Copa del Reys and one Championship, while massively disappointing in UCL. The investment risked by those two clubs isn't exactly generating the immediate success that people expect after such expenditures. Adding to that, according to Barcelona themselves, they've amassed 488m€ of debt, although presidential candidate Victor Font is stating that "the club's debt is very high. It's much higher than the club explains".
Madrid on the other hand are finding themselves in a period of transition with the old guard steadily declining, and president Florentino Pérez decided to approach this transition in a calm way, investing in big talents and having a big network of loan players. Players like Jovic, Vinícius, Rodrygo, Militão are costing them around 40m€ each, and don't seem to be up to the task yet, though. With Hazard, a mistake similar to or even bigger than most of Barcelonas flop signings was made. To some extent still riding on the success of 2016-18, a massive investment is to be expected in the 2021 summer window. If they don't manage to set themselves apart from the rest of the league and regain their status as an undisputed world class team after that, I'd expect the problems Barcelona are facing right now to occur in Madrid as well. While having paid off any debt they previously had, they have now taken on a 500m€ loan to renovate the Bernabéu.
Why some of the signings have underperformed, what's going on at Barcelona and if Madrid's period of transition will be successful are all topics often discussed on this sub, so I will not include them in this submission.
But, as a matter of fact, due to (failed) investment and the Coronavirus pandemic, the financial prowess of the big three has decreased dramatically.
The narrowing of the financial gap in La Liga has seen many midtable clubs make their record signing over the last few years such as Cucurella - Getafe, Luis Suárez - Granada, Alcácer - Villarreal or de Tomás - Espanyol. A few years ago, it wouldn't have been imaginable for Betis to pull off as signing as high profile as Nabil Fekir. So as we can see, the narrowing of the financial gap in La Liga is also leading to the narrowing of the gap in quality.
The last time the league was as close together, quality-wise, was probably the small era of Basque dominance from 1980 to 1984.

The football is more defensive-minded

My write-up on the financial aspect may answer the question on why games are now closer than before. The question still remaining is, why do most games seem to not be ending with scores like 3-3 or 5-4 (scores we regularly see in the PL) but more likely scores like 1-0 or 0-0?

Season Avg. goals scored per match
2011/12 2,7632
2012/13 2,8711
2013/14 2,7500
2014/15 2,6553
2015/16 2,7447
2016/17 2,9421
2017/18 2,6947
2018/19 2,5868
2019/20 2,4789
2020/21 (so far) 2,1509
(source)
First of all, it is easy to see the goals have been drying up in La Liga over the last 3-4 years. Out of the last 10 seasons, the three seasons with the least goals scored per match in La Liga are 20/21, 19/20 and 18/19.
Is this the result of goalscorers leaving the top teams, or is the league getting increasingly defensive-minded?
Let's take a look at the goals scored by Barca and Madrid in this timespan

Season Combined goals scored by RMA and FCB
2011/12 235
2012/13 218
2013/14 204
2014/15 228
2015/16 222
2016/17 222
2017/18 193
2018/19 153
2019/20 156
2020/21 (normalized to 38 matchdays) 121,6
We're seeing a massive decrease in goals scored by Madrid and Barcelona starting 2017. Before that, both teams normally had a goal tally of 100+ per season, while the last time they achieved this feat was in 2016/17 (Madrid with 106, Barça with 116).
It is obvious that the insane goalscoring numbers of the big two massively improved the goals per match ratio in La Liga, but it would be to easy to blame this fact only on them becoming worse or the rest of the league becoming better.
There is a lack of reliable goalscorers in La Liga.
From 2010 to 2020, the top scoring player in La Liga was 6x Messi, 3x Ronaldo and 1x Suárez. With Ronaldo now having left, Suárez having declined and Messi at least having declined in his numbers, the careers of 3 of the best players of our generation will now come to an end. Who is there to replace them though?
Benzema and Messi are probably the only reliable, world class goalscorers that guarantee their team 20+ goals in La Liga at the moment. The likes of Gerard Moreno, José Luis Morales, Iago Aspas and Lucas Ocampos are surely decent players, but La Liga has been known for the sheer amount of world class attacking players. The days of players like Forlán, Costa, Neymar, Suárez, Griezmann, Agüero, Villa, Eto'o, Raúl, Bale, Falcao, Higuaín, Negredo, Soldado etc. scoring 20+ per season, in seasons where CR7 and Leo both scored even more (40+ goals), are over.
It is now extremely difficult for La Liga teams to hold their top scoring players. The financial prowess of the Premier League is as strong as ever, and even a newly promoted club like Leeds is able to snatch one of the better attacking La Liga players in Rodrigo Moreno away from Valencia. Championship teams like Watford and Fulham are loaning players out to top 10 La Liga Clubs (Cucho Hernández from Watford to Getafe, Anguissa from Fulham to Villarreal). Ever since the Neymar move to PSG, not even Barcelona and Real Madrid are safe of losing their top players, which is why they put absurd release clauses into the contracts of players (Benzema at 1b€, Messi at 750m€ etc.). And if it wasn't for this, like we all know, Messi would probably be gone as well by now.
This isn't the only reason why top teams find it increasingly harder to break down deep-lying defensive lines.
More and more clubs are making defending their main footballing philosophy.
Seeing that the top clubs are getting weaker and weaker in attack, many midtable and lower league clubs are no longer afraid of playing the big teams. They've realized top clubs are struggling with deep sitting defensive lines. This is a phenomenon that has evolved all around Europe's top leagues, even before but especially since the 2018 World Cup. Possession-based top teams (like Spain and Germany's NTs, Barcelona, City...) are struggling harder and harder with scoring goals. Smaller teams in La Liga have taken advantage of this and simply park the bus, giving possession to the bigger sides. Especially Madrid and Atlético normally don't utilize this possession well and prefer to have less of the ball but more space in attack.
Now, this has seemingly always been the case in La Liga, smaller sides always park the bus against the big teams, so what has changed?
Clubs like Athletic, Alavés and especially Getafe under Pepe Bordalás have made defending, shithousery and timewasting, a physical style of play, their complete footballing identity. They don't park the bus against Madrid only, most of the times they also do so against opponents like Elche (sorry Elche fans). They play a hybrid defensive style of sitting back and giving possession to their opponent, while also gegenpressing and waiting for their opponents to make mistakes. The main objective is to not take any kind of defensive risk, under any circumstance, while also doing everything the rulebook allows to get a good result over the whole 90 minutes.
These teams are taking Atleti as an example, who can now be seen as a near-world class club, having reached this status with few resources and with a very defensive footballing mindset.
On the other hand, there are still "smaller" clubs who are trying to play beautiful attacking fooball, most notably Villarreal, Betis, Levante and to some extent La Real and Celta. In my opinion, the "downfall" of Betis and Celta, from teams consistently competing for European spots to teams fighting against relegation, can't be explained with lack of quality of their players, bad signings or bad coaches, but with them failing to adapt to this more defensive play style. Villarreal's and Levante's trajectories have been relatively satisfactory, but are still hardly a full success. Real Sociedad are seemingly on the way up, but that's because they play some sort of hybrid tactics under Alguacil and can do very well defensively against big teams (0-0 against Madrid on matchday 2) but also well offensively against "smaller" oppositions (yesterday's 3-0 win against Betis). Teams like these, but also Barca and especially Madrid, will often have a lot of possession and play extremely slow-paced football, while trying to search for a gap that just isn't there.
The defensive playstyle that has developed is obviously only possible through the increasing quality of defensive players in La Liga, which on the other hand is only made possible through the redistribution of TV money, bringing us back to our first point.
Clubs not adapting to this style of play and instead trying to push through their own style of play, their own "DNA", will continue having a very hard time. Koeman has realized this, and his team is already starting to give opponents more possession than they did under Setién or Valverde. This will lead to Barcelona having more attacking space, but also having to transition to defence more often.
All in all, or as you do on reddit, TLDR:
2015's redistribution of TV money + transfer market inflation + big teams' mistakes on the market have led to the quality gap in La Liga narrowing, lack of reliable goalscorers and clubs making defending their ideology is leading to slow-paced, defensive football
It's the first time I'm ever doing something like this and it started out as a long comment in the Monday Moan thread, so obviously this is not a professional analysis, and I've left out a lot of tactical analysis on Getafe & co. and decided not to further analyze the current states of Barcelona and Madrid, but I'd appreciate your thoughts and input.
Let me know if you find errors, mistakes or something that just isn't 100% correct in your opinion.
submitted by IcefoxX5 to soccer

4

Lost in the Sauce: Barr's DOJ shut down investigations of Trump and admin officials

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis.
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Post-election

On Saturday, Trump announced on Twitter that he has put his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in charge of his campaign's long-shot post-election legal challenges. Other people on the team include Joseph diGenova, Victoria Toensing, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis.
  • Giuliani worked with a Russian agent to smear Biden. diGenova and Toensing tried to get the Justice Department to drop charges against corrupt Ukraine oligarch Dmytro Firtash. Powell represents Michael Flynn and champions "deep state" conspiracies. Ellis said gay marriage leads to pedophilia.
NYT: Mr. Trump turned to Mr. Giuliani earlier on Friday in reaction to the latest setback he faced in court, this one relating to votes in Maricopa County, Arizona… A half-dozen other Trump advisers have described Mr. Giuliani’s efforts as counterproductive and said that he was giving the president unwarranted optimism about what could happen… In an Oval Office meeting with aides on Thursday, Mr. Trump put Mr. Giuliani on speakerphone so the others could hear him. He angrily accused the aides of not telling the president the truth
Giuliani’s conspiracy-riddled rant at Four Seasons Total Landscaping was so disastrous that it “scared off many of the lawyers” recruited to argue election-related lawsuits. Politico: “Campaign officials described the episode as disastrous...there are widespread concerns within Trumpworld and GOP circles that Giuliani’s antics are thwarting the president’s legal machinery from within.”
Two major law firms have withdrawn from Trump campaign cases as his legal challenges crumble. Arizona’s largest law firm Snell & Wilmer dumped the RNC and Trump campaign effort to challenge votes in Maricopa County. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur is abandoning Trump’s attempt to block Pennsylvania's popular vote for Joe Biden.
  • In one day (Friday), nine cases meant to attack President-elect Joe Biden's win in key states were denied or dropped - seven in Pennsylvania, one in Arizona, and one in Michigan.
The new federal chief information security officer, Camilo Sandoval, has already taken leave from his day job to participate in a pro-Trump effort to hunt for evidence of voter fraud in the battleground states. The group, Voter Integrity Fund, is a newly formed Virginia-based group that is analyzing ballot data and cold-calling voters. Sandoval was officially appointed on Nov. 4, 2020, but lists his starting date at October on his personal LinkedIn page.
WaPo: Sandoval is part of a hastily convened team led by Matthew Braynard, a data specialist who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign. Another participant is Thomas Baptiste, an adviser to the deputy secretary of the Interior Department who also took a leave to work on the project. Braynard said in an interview that several other government officials on leave are also assisting the effort, but he declined to identify them.
Media’s role:
  • Facebook Cut Traffic To Leading Liberal Pages Just Before The Election: Liberal page administrators who spoke with BuzzFeed News said that their reach declined by as much as 70%, and still hasn’t recovered.
  • Facebook Live Spread Election Conspiracies And Russian State-Controlled Content Despite Employee Fears: The social network’s live video tool has recommended videos featuring misinformation and the hyperpartisan views of Trump allies leading up to and following election day in the US.
  • In the week after the election, Trump’s postings dominated Facebook, accounting for the 10 most engaged status updates in the United States, and 22 of the top 25. “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” was his top post.
  • YouTube Is Doing Very Little to Stop Election Misinformation From Spreading
  • Social media app Parler receives financial backing from conservative hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, The Wall Street Journal reported. Parler turned into a kind of de facto home for conservatives’ protests against the election— including the persistent “Stop the Steal” campaign— after the race was called for former Vice President Joe Biden. Several high-profile conservative social media personalities encouraged people to abandon Twitter and Facebook because of their moderation policies, and instead follow them on Parler.

Transition

Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, still hasn’t signed the official letter that would allow the incoming Biden team to formally begin the transition. House Democrats are assessing options to force the GSA’s hand, which could include summoning Murphy to the Hill to testify or suing her. “Obviously, Congress could file suit against the GSA administrator for failing to do her duty. We could seek to get a court to, in fact, issue an order
Her ascertainment is the legally necessary precursor to the government’s assistance to the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition Team. It releases $6.3 million dollars to the team, which is funded by public and private money; a loan of expanded federal office space and equipment; access to government agencies that will begin sharing information and records about ongoing activities, plans and vulnerabilities; national security briefings for the president; and other support.
  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently confirmed that it is not providing national security briefings to the president-elect. The Defense Department has also reportedly indicated that it will not meet with the Biden-Harris transition team until Murphy formally affirms the apparent winner.
One of the officials fired in Trump’s latest purge was helping prepare for the transition to the new administration. USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick was removed abruptly to make way for a Trump loyalist after she had been supportive of transition planning, including the preparation of a 440-page manual for the next administration.
The GSA’s refusal to enact the transition has locked Biden’s team out of crucial Covid-19 pandemic data and government agency contacts. The president-elect’s Covid-19 task force has been trying to work around the federal government by connecting with governors and the health community.
  • The head of Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, called on the White House to allow contact with the Biden team, saying “It is a matter of life and death for thousands of people.”
White House’s Office of Management and Budget is considering 145 new regulations and other policy changes they could enact before Biden’s inauguration - rules that will be challenging to undo once they are finalized. Critics and supporters of the administration say they expect a final burst of regulations to be finalized in the weeks before Jan. 20.
The rules under development include policies that the incoming Biden administration would probably oppose, such as new caps on the length of foreign student visas; restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of scientific research; limits on the EPA’s consideration of the benefits of regulating air pollutants; and a change that would make it easier for companies to treat workers as independent contractors, rather than employees with more robust wage protections.
Last week, both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said they’re preparing for a second Trump term. “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon (clip). Pompeo then doubled down on Fox News (clip). “We are moving forward here at the White House under the assumption there will be a second Trump term,” Navarro said on Fox Business Friday (clip).

DOJ interference

Attorney General William Barr stopped career prosecutors in DOJ’s Public Integrity Section from investigating whether President Trump broke any laws related to his conduct with Ukraine last year. The section was initially given the green light to pursue “a potentially explosive inquiry” into Trump, but after the Senate acquitted the president during impeachment proceedings, Barr sent the case to the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.
Prosecutors in DOJ’s Public Integrity Section were also prevented from bringing charges against former interior secretary Ryan Zinke by political appointees atop the Justice Department. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen told prosecutors that they needed to gather more evidence and refine the case against Zinke for lying to Interior investigators.
  • The investigation into Zinke stemmed from his decision to block two Native American tribes—the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan—from opening a casino in Connecticut. Zinke’s office had been lobbied heavily by MGM Resorts International, which had been planning to open its own casino very close to where the tribes intended to break ground.
Sixteen assistant U.S. attorneys specially assigned to monitor malfeasance in the 2020 election urged Barr on Friday to rescind his memo allowing election-fraud investigations before results are certified. "It was developed and announced without consulting non-partisan career professionals in the field and at the Department. Finally, the timing of the Memorandum's release thrusts career prosecutors into partisan politics," the prosecutors wrote.
An internal Justice Department investigation found that federal prosecutors who oversaw a controversial non-prosecution deal with Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 exercised “poor judgment” but did not break the law. “They just say he used poor judgment, and that's their way of basically letting everyone off the hook while offering some sort of an olive branch to the victims that we acknowledge weren't treated perfectly,” said Brad Edwards, who sued the DOJ in 2008 on behalf of Epstein accusers.

Immigration news

Eastern District of New York Judge Nicholas Garaufis (Clinton-appointee) ruled that Chad Wolf was not legally serving as acting Homeland Security secretary when he signed rules limiting DACA program applications and renewals. Therefore, in a win for Dreamers and immigration activists, Garaufis said the changes were invalid.
The judge described an illegitimate shuffling of leadership chairs at the Department of Homeland Security, the agency responsible for immigration enforcement, for the predicament of Wolf's leadership and that of his predecessor, Kevin McAleenan.
"Based on the plain text of the operative order of succession," Garaufis wrote in the Saturday ruling, "neither Mr. McAleenan nor, in turn, Mr. Wolf, possessed statutory authority to serve as Acting Secretary. Therefore the Wolf Memorandum was not an exercise of legal authority."
  • There's a renewed push to get Chad Wolf confirmed as Homeland Security secretary -- a position in which he's been serving in an acting capacity for a yearr -- before Inauguration Day. In the past week, Homeland Security officials spoke to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office about bringing the nomination to a floor vote in the coming weeks.
Within the last six months, as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the US, the Trump administration filed 75 lawsuits to seize private land along the US-Mexico border for the border wall." People right now are having to choose between their health and their homes," said Ricky Garza, a staff attorney at the Texas Civil Rights Project, a legal advocacy group.
After a series of price increases, Trump’s border project will cost taxpayers $20 million per mile of border fence. A review of federal spending data shows more than 200 contract modifications, at times awarded within just weeks or months after the original contracts, have increased the cost of the border wall project by billions of dollars since late 2017.
DHS has expelled unaccompanied immigrant children from the US border more than 13,000 times since March, using the coronavirus as an excuse to deny children their right to asylum. Previously, unaccompanied children were sent to government-run shelters as they attempted to pursue their asylum cases.
Migrant children from Central America are being expelled to Mexico, where they have no family connections. The expulsions not only put children in danger - the policy violates a diplomatic agreement with Mexico that only Mexican children and others who had adult supervision could be pushed back into Mexico after attempting to cross the border.
The House Judiciary Committee released a report on the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border, revealing that the federal agency that cares for migrant children was not told about the policy. The chaos contributed to the inability to later reunite parents and children.
The Trump administration is trying to deport several women who allege they were mistreated by a Georgia gynecologist at an immigration detention center. Hours after one detained woman spoke to federal investigators about forced hysterectomies at a Georgia detention center, she said ICE told her that it had lifted a hold on her deportation and she faced “imminent” removal. Six former patients who complained about Dr. Mahendra Amin had already been deported.
Northern District of Illinois Judge Gary Feinerman (Obama-appointee) blocked a key Trump administration policy that allowed officials to deny green cards to immigrants who might need public assistance Advocates who had feared that the policy would harm tens of thousands of poor people, particularly those affected by widespread job loss because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Miscellaneous

Microsoft said it has detected attempts by state-backed Russian and North Korean hackers to steal valuable data from leading pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers. “Among the targets, the majority are vaccine makers that have COVID-19 vaccines in various stages of clinical trials.”
Two census takers told The AP that their supervisors pressured them to enter false information into a computer system about homes they had not visited so they could close cases during the waning days of the once-a-decade national headcount.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday signaled it’s unlikely to tear down Obamacare over a Republican-backed lawsuit challenging the landmark health care law. Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump appointee Justice Brett Kavanaugh strongly questioned whether the elimination of the mandate penalty made the rest of the law invalid. Kavanaugh appeared to signal on several occasions that he favored leaving the rest of the law intact if the mandate is struck.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) was sued last week by four whistleblowers claiming that he abused his office to benefit himself, a woman with whom he was said to have had an affair, and the wealthy donor who employs her before retaliating against the members of his staff who reported him to the FBI.
The Trump administration is rushing plans to auction drilling rights in the U.S. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before the inauguration of Biden, who has vowed to block oil exploration in the rugged Alaska wilderness. Biden’s efforts could be complicated if the Trump administration sells drilling rights first. Formally issued oil and gas leases on federal land are government contracts that can’t be easily yanked.
submitted by rusticgorilla to Keep_Track