Louisiana, Oklahoma lawmakers react to President Biden’s oil & gas leasing ban

Agriculture

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(KTAL/KMSS) – Congressional and state lawmakers and coalitions in Louisiana and Oklahoma are reacting to President Joe Biden’s executive order to implement a moratorium on oil and gas lease sales in hopes of fighting climate change.

President Biden on Wednesday signed a raft of executive action, including pausing new oil and gas leases on federal land and cutting fossil fuel subsidies, as he pursues green policies he billed as a boon to the economy.

U.S. State Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA/District 4) took his thoughts to Twitter, saying Biden’s policy is hurting working families.

“If there was any doubt whether this White House is with activists or working families, the answer is now crystal clear.”

U.S. State Representative Clay Higgins (R-LA/District 3) also shared his thoughts about President Biden’s plan on Twitter, calling Biden’s ‘energy policy’ a ‘War on oil and gas.’

Senator John Kennedy, (R-LA) released a statement Wednesday saying President Biden’s executive order is “bad and devastating to America.” Kennedy also says he has introduced a bill to reverse Biden’s order.

Today, President Biden has issued an executive order that bans all new oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and on other public lands throughout the United States.

Now, look, I’m not going to bubble wrap this. This is bad. This is really bad. This is devastating to America. We have just become energy independent, but this is devastating to Louisiana.

Our GDP in Louisiana is a little over a couple hundred billion dollars a year. I’ve seen studies that show fully a third of that is related to oil and gas, directly or indirectly. This is not just going to impact oil and gas jobs and families. This is going to hurt petrochemical. It’s going to hurt our refineries. This is going to cause people to leave our state. If we lose all these jobs and people leave, the average age in Louisiana is going to be deceased.

I am very upset, and I want to ask all of my colleagues, my Democratic colleagues, in Louisiana and the legislature and local government, state government to please call President Biden. Call the White House and let them understand how much this is going to hurt Louisiana families.

I can’t imagine anything right now—in the middle of a coronavirus when our economy is shut down—I can’t imagine much that would be worse for Louisiana families.

I have introduced a bill today to reverse President Biden’s action. I’ve got to have some Democratic support in the Senate to pass it, but, if I can pass it, it’s basically going to take away the power of President Biden to do this and require that we have at least two lease sales every year in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sen. John Kennedy, (R-LA)

Oklahoma’s Dist. 2 Congressional Representative Markwayne Mullin is among the group of legislators who also voiced his reaction to President Biden’s policy on Twitter.

Marc Ehrhardt, executive director of Grow Louisiana Coalition, issued a statement in response to President Biden’s plan, stating the executive order takes no steps forward.

The Biden Administration’s announcement of a moratorium on new oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico hurts Louisiana’s coast. It doesn’t help it.

Years ago, Louisiana and the oil and natural gas industry had the foresight to create a reliable, ongoing stream of revenue to build and protect Louisiana’s coast. When safe oil and natural gas exploration occurs in the Gulf of Mexico, money is generated that goes directly to funding vital coastal projects in our communities. All in conjunction with Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, the world’s largest climate adaptation program.

This executive order takes no steps forward. It is a giant step back for the hundreds of thousands of Louisianians working in the energy industry and for our working coast that needs the reliable funding that the energy industry’s work provides.

Every lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico that doesn’t happen prevents tens of millions of dollars from going to Louisiana’s coastal work. It sets our state’s resiliency and productive efforts to protect and improve our coastal communities back years.

Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan receives at least a third of its funding from the revenues generated by the oil and natural gas industry safely working in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the CPRA itself. Since 2018, a major portion of the $266 million Louisiana has received from GOMESA for coastal initiatives has come directly from oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2020 alone, Louisiana received $124 million from lease sales and industry production in the Gulf. In one fell swoop, our state now stands to lose hundreds of millions of much-needed dollars to complete projects along our coast.

Projects such as the Bayou Lafourche Pump Station, which provides safe drinking water for over 300,000 residents in a four-parish area, the Bayou Chene flood gate, which protects residents in six parishes, as well as investments in levee system improvements to enhance the climate resilience of coastal communities are all funded by these revenues.

This moratorium will have profound implications for Louisiana’s economy. The bottom line is that it cripples the progress that is being made to protect our working coast.”

Marc Ehrhardt, executive director of Grow Louisiana Coalition

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