Halting federal oil and gas leasing helps no one

Recently, global leaders gathered in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit. It was here that nations, both large and small, made commitments to combat and slow the effects of climate change. It should concern us that many of the proposals and agreements target some of our most critically important industries, including oil and gas, putting jobs, affordable fuels and energy and our economy at risk.

The United States has tried this tactic and it consistently fails. Most recently, President Biden agreed to and implemented sweeping government regulations related to the environment without fully understanding the impacts upon communities in energy states like New Mexico.

Take, for example, the recent ban on oil and natural gas leasing on public lands and in offshore waters. Despite a groundswell of opposition from states who said the ban could cause significant community harm and economic loss, the Department of Interior pressed forward with its leasing moratorium, seemingly without even considering its consequences. 2021 will mark the first year in decades no onshore federal leasing auctions will have occurred across the US.

Federal lands currently compose nearly 35% of New Mexico’s total area, and a federal oil and gas leasing ban would immediately threaten the welfare and future of our state. We would lose critical jobs at a time when the economy is reeling, and our unemployment rate remains one of the highest in the nation. At the same time, ban would eliminate critical tax revenues that pay for schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure, keeping the government from dipping into the pockets of taxpayers.

Fortunately, this hasty decision was overturned in court after 12 states sued the Department of Interior. But it still represents a dangerous trend we see on both sides of the aisle—government representatives putting politics and big government over the best interests of our people—and it is unacceptable.

Moreover, sweeping government policies such as a leasing ban rarely work as intended. Instead, they hamstring businesses and stifle innovation, hurt our middle- and lower-income citizens and communities and always have unintended consequences. And it is important to keep this in mind as we consider ways to address climate change, especially for states like New Mexico.

It should be clear to U.S. officials that working together with energy companies, not actively against, will be the best path to a cleaner, more sustainable future. Already, energy companies are heavily investing in innovative solutions, like carbon capture and storage, to reduce emissions while protecting jobs and revenues and keeping energy costs low. We should continue encouraging this type of collaboration and innovation between government and private industry to effectively balance economic growth with climate goals.

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2 Replies to “Halting federal oil and gas leasing helps no one”

  1. First of all, the cleanest source of energy, by far, is nuclear power. But that has been vilified by Sierra Club et al thanks to contributions they get from the gas companies, who sell plenty of natgas to solar and wind plants…see the connection?

    Meanwhile, the efforts of the left in the US have really been about collapsing the economy – the Covid fear mongering (lockdowns! masks!!) has little to do with health or science and all to do with compliance through fear. If the vaccine is such a miracle cure, why did Congress exempt themselves from having to take it last month? When I hear a scientific anser to that question I will be willing to consider it.

    Meanwhile, the “global warming” (sorry, I guess now it’s “climate change” ) crisis was manufactured from the get go decades ago – watch Tony Heller’s videos showing how those that perpetuated the lie to the UN showed charts that cherry picked the data from the 1970s, from records that in fact were kept since the early 1800s. Again, wealth redistribution has been the goal – herding the useful idiots into believing it’s about climate has been a ploy. Have a look:

    So pandering to said idiots has been the game. If little Greta is so concerned about climate change, why isn’t she off in China screaming at President Xi, who is building 1000 new col fired power plants, I wonder?

    Being an fossil fuel producing state, of course New Mexico gets the brunt of the pointless rules unilaterally put into place by a leadership that cares not one bit about the economy – haven’t you heard? Capitalism is evil, Socialism is the way to go! Like the proverbial frog that sits in a pot of hot water until it boils and kills him, far too many of us are sitting around thinking “well, it can’t be that bad – they wouldn’t do things to ruin the economy” – exactly as the elites want.

  2. Thats why those lands that are Patented Land Grants must be returned to the Rightful Hiers Then they could profit from the oil and gas leases Simple Stuff

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