By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A proposal by presidential candidate Joe Biden to block oil and gas drilling on federal lands would have a significant impact on the economies of Wyoming and other oil-producing states, according to a study prepared by oil industry organizations.
The analysis released by the Petroleum Association of Wyoming and American Petroleum Institute said such a ban would reduce Wyoming’s oil and natural gas production by more than 30%, costing the state more than 33,000 jobs and $641 million in state revenue.
“Given that nearly 50% of all lands in Wyoming are owned by the federal government, a ban on federal leasing and development would decimate the natural gas and oil industry and Wyoming’s economy along with it,” said Pete Obermeuller, president of the PAW. “This policy would damage both national security and environmental stewardship while devastating Wyoming’s middle class, local communities and public school system.”
Biden’s proposal to end climate change calls for a ban on new oil and gas drilling permits on public lands and waters.
Nationally, the API said such a move would result in a $700 billion decline in the country’s gross domestic product, the loss of 1 million jobs and a threat to more than $9 billion in government income through taxation and fees.
Wyoming would be among the hardest-hit states, coming in fourth behind New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana for job losses and second behind New Mexico for state revenue losses.
The API also concluded a national ban on drilling on federal lands would increase U.S. dependence on foreign oil while cutting the nation’s exports of natural gas.
The move would also slow the switch from coal-fired power generating plants to natural gas plants, the analysis said, thus failing to reduce emissions as hoped.