Biden’s leasing ban brings furious letter from Utah governor, others

An oil pump sits idle near Ouray in Utah’s Uinta Basin. A new legislative audit details how some big ticket projects in the Uinta Basin using mineral extraction proceeds could be aggravating the impacts of industry activity rather than alleviating them as the money is supposed to.

An oil pump sits idle near Ouray in Utah’s Uinta Basin. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox joined 16 other GOP governors across the country in urging President Joe Biden to rescind his executive order banning any new leasing for oil and gas on federal public lands | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox joined 16 other GOP governors across the country urging President Joe Biden to rescind his executive order banning any new leasing for oil and gas on federal public lands, stressing that the energy sector means much more than just a tank of gas.

“There are many parts of our country where energy is more than a utility bill or tank of gas — it’s a job-creating industry that provides good careers and steady paychecks to families in rural areas and small towns. Where the recent surge in oil and natural gas provided jobs and created wealth when we needed it most, the order will drastically hinder the ability of the oil and gas industry to recover, both onshore and offshore, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic subside,” the letter dated Monday said.

The letter went on to emphasize that the order Biden signed during his first day as president has a particularly negative economic impact on Western states with large tracts of federal lands, as well as Gulf Coast states, chasing away capital investment impacting an array of services that include education and public safety.

“Beyond directly impacted states, the order is estimated to spike American residential energy costs by $1.7 billion per year,” the letter said.

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The order has been lauded by environmental groups and climate change activists as a step toward tamping down fossil fuel emissions and forcing a wider embrace of “green” energy such as wind turbines and solar farms. While it has only been in effect just over a month, the order is already leading to layoffs in the energy sector.

Biden also yanked the permit for the construction of the Keystone pipeline, resulting in the layoffs of more than a 1,000 people, even as the United States for the first time in decades became energy independent, exporting more energy than it imports.

The letter by Cox and other governors emphasizes that Biden’s practices will merely shift production to foreign and possibly hostile nations where environmental regulations are not as stringent, amplifying levels of fossil fuel emissions, not abating them.

“To meet consumer demand and stabilize our electric grid, we depend on energy produced on private land and public land — we need both,” the letter said. “Simply put, the order jeopardizes our national security interests and strips away the opportunity for Americans to be energy independent.”

The order is part of Biden’s ambitious embrace of a climate change agenda targeting fossil fuel emissions to slow a warming climate that a majority of scientists say is leading to increased wildfires in the West, sea level rise and jeopardizing wildlife and their habitat across the globe.

Utah and other fossil fuel-rich states were collectively holding their …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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