Biden Administration Takes Aim at Oil and Gas

On the campaign trail, President Biden called for the U.S. to phase out its dependence on fossil fuels. His first week in office has certainly set a similar tone, with several climate related Executive Orders. Today, the president issued a new Executive Order, which according to the administration, is set to "empower" American workers and businesses to “lead a clean energy revolution” that would achieve a carbon pollution-free sector by 2035, while putting the U.S. on an “irreversible path to a net-zero economy by 2050.” The order, clearly establishes climate considerations as an “essential element” of U.S. foreign policy and national security. 

Highlights related to our industry include:

The order directs the Secretary of the Interior to pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters to the extent possible, launch a rigorous review of all existing leasing and permitting practices related to fossil fuel development on public lands and waters, and identify steps that can be taken to double renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030.

The order does not restrict energy activities on lands that the United States holds in trust for Tribes. The Secretary of the Interior will continue to consult with Tribes regarding the development and management of renewable and conventional energy resources, in conformance with the U.S. government’s trust responsibilities.

The order also directs federal agencies to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as consistent with applicable law and identify new opportunities to spur innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure. 

Additionally, the order tasks a new Interagency Working Group to advance projects that reduce emissions of toxic substances and greenhouse gases from existing and abandoned infrastructure and that prevent environmental damage that harms communities and poses a risk to public health and safety – such as projects to reduce methane emissions, oil and brine leaks, and other environmental harms from tens of thousands of former mining and well sites.

In response, IPAA issued the following statement, 

 IPAA: “Don’t Be Fooled. This is a Ban on Production”

‘Build Back Better’ was simply campaign rhetoric 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the Biden Administration’s executive order directing the Department of Interior to halt new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and waters, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) released the following statement: 

Dan Naatz, IPAA SVP of Government Relations and Political Affairs: “In his first week in office, President Biden has already shown that his campaign theme to “Build Back Better” was simply campaign rhetoric. In the latest blow to American oil and natural gas producers, the Biden Administration announced it is placing an indefinite halt on new oil and natural gas leases on federal lands and waters. However, do not be fooled, this is a ban. Federal lands and waters together accounted for 22% of total U.S. oil production and 12% of U.S. natural gas production in 2019, according to the Energy Information Administration. The Biden Administration’s plan to obliterate the jobs of American oil and gas explorers and producers has been on clear display with cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the initial announcement of a 60-day freeze on federal leasing and permitting, and now this.   

“On Monday, President Biden issued an executive order “Strengthening Buy American Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers.” This latest order, made in the name of protecting the environment, does the opposite – it will only shift jobs and energy production to Saudi Arabia and Russia, which have far less-stringent environmental controls than America. 

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  • Michael Cornelius
    published this page in NEWS 2021-01-27 14:19:34 -0500
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