Joe Biden’s attack on the oil and gas industry isn’t just sending ripples through the economies of America’s oil-producing states, it’s a full-on earthquake and tsunami all rolled into one.
And those states aren’t going to take it lying down.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has directed every state agency to sue the federal government over Biden’s oil lease ban.
During a news conference he said, “Texas is going to protect the oil and gas industry from any type of hostile attack launched from Washington, D.C. Texas is not going to stand idly by and watch the Biden administration kill jobs.”
The governor held a roundtable discussion at Cudd Energy Services.
An employee there, Daniel Posada, told reporters that he and his co-workers feel threatened by the Biden administration’s policy. “This industry is important to not just Texas, but the United States. We made a big part and we are here to stay.”
President Biden’s executive order says, “The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis. We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and to seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents.”
The Texas Oil & Gas Association says Biden could be killing as many as 120,000 jobs in that state.
In Louisiana, oil and gas affects as much as a third of the state’s GDP, and the state’s economy is already in free-fall. An oil lease ban which wipes out offshore oil exploration puts the state’s entire coast on welfare.
Not surprisingly, both senators from Texas and Louisiana joined a group of 26 who popped a nasty letter to Biden and demanded a summit with him over the oil lease ban.
Dear President Biden:
As Senators who represent millions of Americans who work in our nation’s resource development sectors, we are requesting a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss recent actions that your administration has taken targeting those industries. As our nation is confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic challenges, it is paramount that we rise above politics and focus on policies that invigorate jobs for hard working Americans. We appreciate your previous statements supporting middle class jobs and working families. We too share these goals, but they must not come at the overwhelming expense of our constituents. As Senators from states where the energy and resource development sectors have provided good-paying jobs for generations, including the building trades unions, we have been surprised by your immediate actions upon taking office that have targeted hundreds of thousands of these jobs in our states and which run counter to your stated goal of creating good-paying jobs and helping struggling American families.
Over the last decade, the United States became an energy superpower, realizing the potential of our vast resources to provide secure energy for the U.S. and our allies. This revolution in the production of our resources, like oil and natural gas, has provided stable, good-paying middle class jobs across the country. Our states have also seen growth of renewable energy resources and jobs, which we support under an all-of-the-above energy strategy. This has been recognized as an important bipartisan achievement, especially as it relates to jobs. However, your recent executive actions have put hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wages at risk. From revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, to halting leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters, including ANWR, and freezing continued energy development programs throughout our states, you’ve threatened middle-class jobs in the midst of an economy challenged by the pandemic, with no hope in the near future for these workers and their families. Industries which will create new “green jobs” that can replace the ones lost are still years away from maturing, and provide no immediate hope for our workers.
We are not the only ones who are deeply concerned about your Administration’s job-killing actions. As Mark McManus, the General President of the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters recently said about your Keystone XL decision, “When built with union labor by the men and women of the United Association, pipelines like Keystone XL remain the safest and most efficient modes of energy transportation in the world. Sadly, the Biden Administration has now put thousands of union workers out of work. For the average American family, it means energy costs will go up and communities will no longer see the local investments that come with pipeline construction.” Terry O’Sullivan, the General President of the Laborer’s International Union of North America also said that “there are no renewable energy jobs that come even close to replacing the wages and benefits the Keystone XL project would have provided. Killing good union jobs on day one with nothing to replace them, is not building back better.”
Your actions will have grave consequences for our constituents, and taking these actions on your very first week as President, with no input from those of us who represent these hard working Americans is counter to the desires of the American people who want practical, bipartisan solutions to our nation’s challenges, and who want policies that support working families.
Mr. President, we all watched your inauguration and took your words about unity and putting yourself in other people’s shoes to heart. We know you understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of Americans to live paycheck to paycheck and to be worried about how they are going to pay rent and feed their families. Unfortunately, by targeting resource development, you have put thousands of good-paying jobs at risk, which is adding to the burden that our constituents are bearing right now and has the potential to further the divide between rural and urban America. The actions you’ve taken have the very real potential to devastate these hard working Americans and leave them and their families behind for decades to come.
At your inauguration, you pledged to represent all Americans, including those who live in our states. The best path to reach true unity is to work together to find solutions for them and for our environment. We stand ready to work with you and your nominees to meet the challenges our country faces, including working for a cleaner future, and protecting our hard working men and women. We hope that you will meet with us soon and commit to working together to address these important issues in a way that is best for all Americans.
The full list of signers to the letter:
John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Whether the letter will do anything is questionable, but this is a step which has to be taken before more drastic measures are employed.
Those are surely coming. Joe Biden has no mandate to kill a million American jobs for no reason. It won’t wash.