By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
President Joe Biden’s executive orders aimed at slowing climate change have unfairly targeted America’s energy sector, U.S. Sen John Barrasso said late last week.
“He picked up his pen and drew a target on the back of American energy,” Barrasso said during an appearance on Fox late last week. “Then he pulled the trigger and killed the Keystone XL pipeline and he’s killing energy jobs all around the country.”
On his first day in office, Biden halted oil and gas leases on federal land for 60 days.
Last week, he issued a second executive order on the subject, extending the moratorium for an unspecified amount of time to allow the Department of Interior to thoroughly review the federal leasing program and existing leases on federal lands.
Barrasso said during his Fox appearance that this moratorium and other executive orders issued by Biden could affect 30,000 jobs in Wyoming.
“The Democrats have gone back to a ‘blame America first’ approach,” the senator said. “The reason we want a strong energy economy in America is its jobs, its affordable energy and because of national security.”
Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, among other orders on his first day in office.
A University of Wyoming study commissioned by the Legislature has concluded that a moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land could reduce Wyoming’s production by $872 million per year, costing the state more than $300 million a year in tax revenue.
U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney have both introduced legislation that would require congressional approval for any executive branch effort to stop energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal land.
Lummis’ bill, co-sponsored by Barrasso and 24 other members of the Senate, is called the “Protecting Our Wealth of Energy Resources Act” and would require congressional approval for mineral and energy leases on federal land.
Cheney actually introduced two bills, one dealing with oil and gas leases and the second with coal leases. Both would require a joint resolution from Congress to approve any moratorium on leasing on federal land.