Wyoming Governor Gordon Continues to Push Back on Biden’s Ban on Oil and Gas Leases

Wyoming Governor Gordon Continues to Push Back on Biden’s Ban on Oil and Gas Leases

April 19, 2021

President Biden has made it clear since stepping into office that climate policies will be at the top of his agenda. On his first day in office he signed an executive order that halted new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and water as his administration completed a comprehensive review of the impacts.

Western states like Wyoming have been hit hardest by this overreaching order. Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon recently wrote a letter to the Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland on how the cancelation of lease sales during a “review” of the program was discriminatory to the people of Wyoming.

WYO Today reports:

Among other concerns, the Governor highlighted the lack of consultation with Western governors before the lease sale moratorium was put in effect. In addition, the Governor stated “Western states such as Wyoming are disproportionately affected by the freeze because of the amount of federal land and leases within our borders.”  He pointed out that “the eight Western states with federal oil and gas leasing programs will have investment losses of $2.3 billion, production value losses of $882 million and tax revenue losses of $345 million in the first year of the moratorium.”

The letter was issued in response to the Department of Interior’s call for informal public comment on the Biden administration’s months-long federal fossil fuel program review. Wyoming was one of the many states to file lawsuits against the administration’s move to halt new leases on federal lands and waters. Governor Gordon also issued his own executive order back in February that directed Wyoming state agencies to conduct a thorough investigation into the economic impacts of Biden’s ban and what legal options the state has to respond to the Biden administration.

Governor Gordon asked the Secretary to allow State Bureau of Land Management Directors to “dedicate time for deliberate and thoughtful consultation with Wyoming and other states that have effective regulation of development, solid environmental protections, and whose economies, livelihoods and way of life are dependent upon the federal energy programs that this administration proposes to reform. Policy changes to our bedrock program should not be based on a predetermined outcome without meaningful input from all stakeholders.”

We hope Secretary Haaland accepts Governor Gordon’s invitation to speak with Wyoming and other energy-rich states who have been negatively affected by this heavy-handed order. The Biden administration’s attempt to diminish a multi-billion dollar program that energy-rich states so heavily depend on for jobs and revenue vital to their state budgets without listening to the elected officials these states have chosen to represent their interests goes against the democracy our country was founded on. We hope the Department of Interior takes this review seriously and welcomes the opportunity to speak with stakeholders within the industry.