An oil and gas employee in New Mexico warned that President Biden’s order to halt new drilling on federal lands and a potential ban on all drilling on federal lands is “going to make oil and gas operators look at investing at other places.”
“What this does is it exports New Mexican jobs and it causes us to import foreign oil,” Lee Livingston with Mack Energy Corporation, told FOX Business’ Grady Trimble during an interview on “Varney & Co.” on Tuesday.
According to The American Petroleum Institute (API), a recent analysis revealed New Mexico would be among the hardest-hit states from a ban on federal leasing and public lands.
“New Mexico, which accounts for 57% of federal onshore oil production and 31% of onshore natural gas production, is projected to be among the states hardest hit, losing over 62,000 jobs by 2022,” an API news release said.
“With nearly 40% of the state’s budget funded by natural gas and oil production, a ban could put at risk more than $1 billion of federal revenue sharing which helps support New Mexico’s education and conservation programs.”
On Tuesday, Livingston echoed that concern noting that “oil and gas is a lifeblood of the New Mexico economy” and is “vitally important.”
He also pointed to figures mentioned by the API analysis.
Livingston noted that “we get around $1billion a year from federal leases here in the state of New Mexico,” which he said “helps our teachers, our first responders and our highways and school systems.”
Last week, Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, argued that President Biden's order to halt new drilling on federal lands will kill 58,700 jobs in eight states in the West, “where over 97% of the federal production is found.”
“We are going to start properly manage lands and waterways in ways that allow us to protect, preserve the full value that they provide for us for future generations,” President Biden said last week when he announced his executive order.
Last Wednesday, Western Energy Alliance, which represents 200 oil and natural gas companies, filed a lawsuit challenging Biden’s executive order banning oil and natural gas leasing on federal public lands, according to a news release.
The release cited the complaint which, “challenges Biden’s order as exceeding presidential authority and constituting a violation of the Mineral Leasing Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.”
Biden signed a total of 17 executive orders within minutes of entering the Oval Office for the first time last month. The orders reversed a number of Trump administration policies and covered areas Biden identified as his priorities on the campaign trail, including climate change.
In addition to temporarily suspending oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters, Biden halted the Keystone XL oil pipeline project in the series of orders aimed at tamping down the U.S. fossil fuel industry and combating climate change.
In remarks made by Biden last Wednesday before signing executive actions on tackling climate change, the president pointed to “a key plank” of his Build Back Better Recovery Plan, which he noted “is building a modern, resilient climate infrastructure and clean energy future that will create millions of good-paying union jobs.”