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This week the Biden administration put a 60-day hold on new oil and gas leases on public lands. While this is only temporary at the moment, the expectation is that this moratorium will become permanent sometime soon. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has been paying attention because Biden promised prior to the election that he would do this. Here it is from his own climate plan page [emphasis added]:
Protecting America’s natural treasures by permanently protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other areas impacted by President Trump’s attack on federal lands and waters, establishing national parks and monuments that reflect America’s natural heritage, banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters, modifying royalties to account for climate costs, and establishing targeted programs to enhance reforestation and develop renewables on federal lands and waters with the goal of doubling offshore wind by 2030.
Today the Associated Press reports that some leaders in New Mexico are very concerned about the impact this could have on the state:
Top Republicans in the state as well as local leaders in communities that border the Permian Basin — one of the most productive regions in the U.S. — say any moves to make permanent the suspension would be economically devastating for the state. Half of New Mexico’s production happens on federal land and amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties each year…
The issue has been a thorny one for Democrats in New Mexico, where the oil and gas industry has been vilified over pollution concerns despite its role as the state’s top economic driver. Aside from funneling revenues to the state’s coffers, the industry supports about 100,000 direct and related jobs.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 23, 2021
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