Bipartisan Criticism for Biden Executive Order to Ban New Oil & Gas Leasing on Federal Lands

January 29, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group of elected officials and stakeholders have slammed President Biden’s executive order to ban new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters and coal leasing on federal lands. 

What They Are Saying: 


U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) 

“On Inauguration Day, we heard President Biden rightly encourage the American people to strive towards unity. A week later, he is signing a divisive and illegal executive order that would damage Wyoming’s economy and the economies of other states like New Mexico, North Dakota and Louisiana. Despite all the hot air from climate alarmists, banning new oil, gas, and coal leases on federal land and waters will do nothing to address climate change. Energy producers will simply go elsewhere - likely out of state or overseas. The president’s order will deprive thousands of people in Wyoming of their jobs and a principal source of revenue for public education and other essential services. If President Biden is serious about bringing our country together, he needs to understand that actions speak louder than words.” Senator Barrasso (R-WY)


U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) 

“Make no mistake about it, the Biden Ban is a strike on the heart of Wyoming jobs, families and communities. His actions to appease the radical left will be borne disproportionately on the shoulders of states like Wyoming with high amounts of federal lands. This unilateral action will kill jobs, raise gas and energy prices, and further harm our ability to fund our schools, roads, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure. The price of this ban is simply one the people of Wyoming cannot afford.” – Senator Lummis (R-WY)


U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) 

“Today’s executive orders signed by President Biden will endanger our economy in Wyoming and threaten our national security. The negative ramifications that will be felt across the country because of this ban will be real and painful. Energy costs will rise. Domestic energy production will fall. Jobs will be lost. Energy states like ours with a large percentage of federal land will lose out on critical education, infrastructure, and healthcare resources, and the individuals who can least afford it will bear the brunt of this decision. Not only that, but this will diminish our ability to produce energy domestically and maintain energy independence, forcing us to rely on our adversaries which undermines our national security interests.” – Representative Cheney (R-WY)


Governor Mark Gordon (R-WY) 

“The President's decision to halt Federal leasing on oil and gas under the guise of a ‘pause’ is beyond misguided. It is disingenuous, disheartening and a crushing blow to the economies of many Western States, particularly Wyoming. No matter how it is framed, this action is still a ban on leasing. this executive action lends credence to the concerns that the administration is bound and determined to dictate all policies from Washington, DC, regardless of dire consequences. It is a reinvigoration of top-down, Obama-era policies that only served to divide and alienate the very working-class American communities with whom the Biden administration has pledged to unite.”  Governor Gordon (R-WY)


Wyoming State Superintendent Jillian Balow 

“I was taken aback by swift orders executed by the Biden Administration last week after months of rhetoric around bringing unity to our nation. Funding for public education in Wyoming and other states has been eviscerated by an order issued by Acting U.S. Interior Secretary de le Vega. A federal ban on oil and gas leases will defund schools. Wyoming depends on some $150 million a year in oil and gas federal mineral royalties to fund our K-12 schools. Shockingly, this move hurts the students in soon to be Interior Secretary Haaland’s home state of New Mexico substantially worse. A University of Wyoming study estimates that Wyoming and seven other top federal oil and gas producing states stand to lose hundreds of millions in revenue for their schools and governments due to this moratorium. There are also Native American reservations negatively impacted by this moratorium and speaking out.” Jillian Balow, Wyoming state superintendent



State Representative Patricia Lundstrom (D-NM) 

“It could be a devastating blow to our budget. We’re not a wealthy state. We have to stretch every dollar.” – Representative Lundstrom, chair of NM State House’s Appropriations and Finance Committee


Mayor Dale Janway

“During his inauguration, President Biden spoke about bringing our nation together. Eliminating drilling on public lands will cost thousands of New Mexicans their jobs and destroy what’s left of our state’s economy. How does that bring us together? Environmental efforts should be fair and well-researched, not knee-jerk mandates that just hurt an already impoverished state.” –Mayor Janway, mayor of Carlsbad, New Mexico


Mayor Raye Miller

“This basically takes a large chunk of our state out of future development. We believe that our community will shrink if these actions become a permanent decision.” – Mayor Miller, mayor of Artesia, New Mexico


New Mexico Teacher of the Year 2019 

“New Mexico’s children are the future and without vital funding from New Mexico’s oil and gas industry, our students will not have access to the tools and resources they need to enter the workforce. New Mexico’s oil and gas industry not only provides critical funding for education, but they provide future career opportunities for our students. New Mexico’s children deserve education and career opportunities that are funded by American industry with responsible industry standards that directly benefit American children.” –Jessica Sanders, 2019 New Mexico teacher of the year


New Mexico Chamber of Commerce 

“Unfortunately, we don't believe a ban on federal oil and gas leases will actually help reduce carbon emissions. What it will do is shift what would've been federal and state taxes to private landholders in Texas and foreign countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia and Iran. It would just cause oil and gas production to move just a few miles over the border with Texas or go overseas.” Rob Black, president and CEO of the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce


New Mexico Oil and Gas Association 

“A federal leasing moratorium is effectively a blockade around New Mexico’s economy, impacting our state more than any other in the country. The message to thousands of New Mexico children, teachers, and first responders who rely on our oil and natural gas industry for basic support is absolutely clear: New Mexicans lose and foreign imports win. A moratorium all but guarantees that unemployment will rise, state revenue will fall, and our economy will come to halt. We share the new administration’s commitment to reducing emissions and combating climate change, but we do not make progress by sacrificing New Mexico communities like Carlsbad, Farmington, or Hobbs. New Mexicans are eager to work, and our country and state is best served by keeping their jobs here at home, rather than outsourcing them abroad.” – Ryan Flynn, president and CEO of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association



U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) 

“Biden’s executive orders are counterproductive. They eliminate jobs and send them overseas to countries with worse environmental standards, increasing global emissions. We don’t need symbolism — we need solutions. So far, all we are seeing from this administration is an ‘energy’ agenda that betrays the working Americans who thought that this President was going to work for them.” – Senator Cassidy (R-LA)


U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) 

“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.” – Senator Kennedy (R-LA)


Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association (LMOGA) 

“The narrative that citizens and policymakers must choose between energy and the environment is fundamentally flawed and we need solutions that protect the environment while encouraging economic growth. Restricting energy development will jeopardize the jobs and economic benefits the energy industry provides, including funds for critical restoration and hurricane protection projects that help make our communities safer and stronger.” – Tyler Gray, president of LMOGA



Governor Doug Burgum (R-ND) 

“Less than a week after suspending new oil and gas leasing on federal lands for 60 days, the administration has doubled down on this harmful policy by extending it and prolonging the threat to American energy security, economic growth and U.S. energy and manufacturing jobs. This moratorium deals a crushing blow to our country’s economy at a critical time, will drive up the price at the pump for working Americans, and sacrifices millions of dollars for schools, hospitals and other key services supported by state and federal budgets. North Dakota has among the nation’s cleanest air and water because we have developed our abundant mineral resources responsibly on both public and private lands. We urge the Biden administration to reverse this decision and work with states on forward-looking solutions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through continued investment and innovation rather than backwards-looking, top-down regulations that hurt hardworking Americans and their communities.” Governor Burgum (R-ND)


U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) 

“Our nation has increased energy production and grown into a dominant force in global energy markets, all while our emissions have been on a downward trend for more than a decade. This has supported good jobs, lower prices for families and businesses and been a strong source of revenue for all levels of government. The executive order signed today is the wrong approach and undermines our economic and national security. We can achieve better environmental stewardship through technological innovation, but locking away access and creating new burdensome and costly regulations that restrict new energy development on federal lands won’t get us there.” – Senator Hoeven (R-ND)


U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) 

“I thought President Biden wanted Americans united, not unemployed. Pausing oil and gas leases on federal lands will raise energy costs for all Americans and eliminate opportunities for good-paying jobs; and the President’s promise to review existing leases means he isn’t done yet. While he destroys jobs at home, the President is delivering wins to foreign competitors like Saudi Arabia, whose exports to the United States will only increase under these actions, further hurting our economy and weakening national security. President Biden’s war on America’s energy producers - and the jobs they create - shows he is more interested in appeasing the radical left than in helping America’s workers and families.” – Senator Cramer (R-ND)



Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) 

“Texas is a pro-energy state, and we will not sit idly by and allow the Biden administration or local governments to destroy jobs and raise energy costs for Texas families.” – Governor Abbott (R-TX)


4 Democrat U.S. Representatives from Texas

“We write to express our concern and opposition to Department of the Interior Acting Secretary Scott de la Vega’s Order No. 3395, which, according to media reports, is a precursor to more problematic action regarding a permanent ban on responsible oil and gas leasing in federal waters and on federal lands. Order 3395 removes traditional decision-making authority from agency and bureau experts who are vested with ensuring compliance with critical statutory authorities, including environmental protections. This order is inconsistent with the federal government’s mandate of multiple-use and sustained yields.” – Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX) & Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)


U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) 

“Texas ... has been ravaged by the coronavirus and this recent Executive Order will hurt an already suffering community. Therefore, I urge the Biden administration to rescind this federal order and reevaluate the impact of this measure with input from relevant stakeholders and experts. I, and my colleagues, stand ready to work with President Biden, the incoming secretary of interior and other stakeholders to develop a thoughtful policy that addresses climate change, protects American jobs and moves us forward.” –Representative Gonzalez (D-TX)



Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT) 

“One week after killing the Keystone XL pipeline, President Biden has dealt another devastating blow to hardworking Americans and American energy independence by banning new permits for drilling on federal lands.” – Governor Gianforte (R-MT)


U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) 

“President Biden is continuing his attack on American energy, this time by blocking all new oil and gas leases on federal lands. This is another blow to Made in America energy, jobs and our Montana way of life," Daines said. "This action will kill nearly one million American jobs, increase our reliance on the Middle East for energy, and will result in Montana alone losing over $40 million each year for services in rural communities. We can't let this happen.” – Senator Daines (R-MT)



Colorado Oil and Gas Association Trade Group 

“Shutting down local production would be about the worst decision this president can make if he wants to lead in efforts to combat global climate change. The president ought to visit Colorado, and sit down with the men and women who work overtime to safely develop the resources and products that are essential to modern society and who keep the lights on in storefronts and homes across the country.” – Dan Haley, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association trade group


Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce 

“A ban is not needed to move forward with an agenda to address climate change, particularly in light of the fact that demand will not decrease for energy products so production will move elsewhere, not stop. There is no reason that policy development cannot occur while maintaining the current level of energy activity.” Diane Schwenke, president of Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce


Western Energy Alliance 

“The law is clear. Presidents don’t have authority to ban leasing on public lands. All Americans own the oil and natural gas beneath public lands, and Congress has directed them to be responsibly developed on their behalf. Drying up new leasing puts future development as well as existing projects at risk. President Biden cannot simply ignore laws in effect for over half a century. Biden’s ban is an overreach meant to satisfy the environmental left, but it would seriously harm the livelihoods of tens of thousands of westerners and put at risk millions more as state services become unfunded.” – Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance