Biden’s Assault on the Oil and Gas Industry

Biden’s Assault on the Oil and Gas Industry

January 26, 2021

The oil and gas industry was right to fear the incoming Biden/Harris administration and their aggressive promises to fighting climate change.

Just hours after being sworn into office, President Biden signed a series of executive actions, including canceling the Keystone XL pipeline permit and imposing an initial 60-day moratorium on energy leasing on federal lands.

Forbes reports:

While these two moves are radical and near-unprecedented departures from the norm, no one should think they represent any sort of end game for this administration. They are just the beginning, the initial shots across the bow for what will become a four-year effort within the administration to de-emphasize America’s fossil fuels industries using climate change as the justification. Never mind that the cancellation of Keystone XL means that millions of additional barrels of Canadian crude will be transported on trains and trucks with the attendant vastly higher emissions: Cancelling Keystone was a symbol. Besides, some key Democratic Party donors hold huge positions in railroad companies, so the action checks off a big political box as well.

The assault on the industry does not stop there. The administration’s political appointees to the Department of Interior is packed with names hostile to the anti-fossil fuel industry in the U.S.

Especially outstanding is the bio sketch of Marissa Knodel, who is to be an advisor to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM):

“Marissa Knodel is a passionate advocate for climate and environmental justice through a just and equitable transition to a clean energy-based society, and resilient adaptation to a changing climate. As Legislative Counsel with Earthjustice, her area of expertise included federal onshore, offshore, and Arctic oil and gas leasing and regulations. Prior to joining Earthjustice, Marissa managed a campaign at Friends of the Earth to stop new fossil fuel development on federal lands and waters. Marissa holds a dual J.D. and Master of Environmental Management degree from Vermont Law School and the Yale School of the Environment.” [emphasis added]

BOEM is the bureau within the Interior Department in charge of the management and regulatory enforcement of extraction of minerals in the Gulf of Mexico and other federal waters. So, the political appointee to be an advisor to the BOEM is blatantly boasting of involvement in a project to halt new development in the very waters BOEM is charged with overseeing.

President Biden’s political appointees at Interior will no doubt do everything they can to ensure that the processes for issuing permits to drill and conduct hydraulic fracturing will be drastically slowed down.

We have said time and time again, overregulation and a top-down approach to the oil and gas sector is not the answer and will only hurt the energy-rich communities across the country who depend on the industry for jobs and revenue. We hope this administration realizes that sooner rather than later.