Bipartisan response greets Biden’s ban on new oil and gas leasing on federal lands

Photo By: Ron Richter

A bipartisan group of elected officials and stakeholders from several states including Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana as well as Wyoming has slammed President Biden’s executive order to ban new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.

The order also bans coal leasing on federal lands.

Among the critics are both of Wyoming’s senators and the state’s U.S. Representative Liz Cheney. Among criticisms, Cheney said the executive orders will endanger Wyoming’s economy and threaten national security. She predicted a rise in energy costs, a fall in domestic energy production and a loss of jobs.

Senator John Barrasso called Biden’s executive order “divisive and illegal” and said the order would damage not only Wyoming’s economy but that of other states including New Mexico, North Dakota and Louisiana. He said the ban will do nothing to address climate change and will deprive thousands of people in Wyoming of their jobs as well as a principal source of revenue for public education and other essential services.

Barrasso noted that on Inauguration Day, Biden rightly encouraged the American people to strive toward unity, and said if the President is serious about bringing the country together, he needs to understand that actions speak louder than words.

U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis said Biden’s ban is a trike on the heart of Wyoming jobs, families and communities and will be borne disproportionately in states like Wyoming that have high amounts of federal lands. She said the ban will kill jobs, raise gas and energy prices and further harm our ability to fund schools, roads, hospitals and olther critical infrastructure.

Criticism of the ban also came from Jillian Balow, Wyoming state superintendent, who said the ban will defund the state’s K-12 schools. In addition, she said the ban will hurt New Mexico substantially worse, as well as negatively impact Native American reservations.

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