Oil industry executives slammed President Joe Biden’s moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands as an attack on the industry that will backfire.
“This is bad for our economy. It’s bad for our national security. It’s bad for our environment and for local communities,” Mike Sommers, the CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), told reporters during a conference call Wednesday.
Biden is expected to order a freeze on Wednesday of new leases on federal lands and waters as a way to address the climate crisis.
Sommers said that while the API shares Biden’s goal of addressing climate change, the executive order is “nothing more than an import more oil policy that will weaken US energy leadership, hamper the economic recovery and undermine national security.”
Officials from New Mexico, a state that could be hit particularly hard by the leasing freeze, warned of a hit to local revenue.
“Our state’s education budgets depend heavily on oil and gas revenue,” said Ryan Flynn, president of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.
Flynn said New Mexico accounts for 57% of all federal onshore oil production and 31% of federal onshore natural gas production. The state gets about $1 billion in revenue from that federal fossil fuels production.