Biden’s Halt on Federal Oil and Gas Leases Does More Harm Than Good

Biden’s Halt on Federal Oil and Gas Leases Does More Harm Than Good

March 23, 2021

In his first day in office, President Biden halted new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters as his administration reviewed fossil fuel development policy.

Biden’s Interior Department is launching a months-long review of the federal oil and gas program, led by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. This Thursday, the Interior Department is having a virtual forum as a part of the comprehensive review, which will include representatives of the industry, labor, conservationist groups, Indigenous people and others.

Associated Press reports:

Emission reductions from a permanent leasing ban would be relatively small — about 100 million tons (91 million metric tons) annually, or less than 1% of global fossil fuel emissions, according to a study by a nonprofit research group.

In contrast, the repercussions of a permanent leasing ban would mean billions in state tax revenues lost that energy-rich communities depend on for their local budgets to fund schools, infrastructure, hospitals, and other vital programs. As well as thousands of American jobs lost and the billions in salary and wages that the industry provides.

Lease sales and royalties companies pay on extracted oil and gas brought in more than $83 billion in revenue over the past decade.

Half the money from onshore drilling goes to the state where it occurred. Money from offshore drilling gets shared with states at a lesser rate and pays for a conservation fund used to preserve land nationwide.

The Biden administration’s attempt to diminish a multi-billion dollar program and further cripple a significant sector of the U.S. economy, while giving false promises that green energy jobs will be able to replace the good-paying energy jobs lost is detached from the reality.

Jim Willox, a commissioner in Converse County, Wyoming, the state’s top crude producer and home to several new wind farms said, such jobs “don’t fill the bucket like oil and gas does.”