Biden’s freeze of new oil and gas permits for federal lands and waters could cost the Gulf of Mexico oil and gas industry some 200,000 jobs. Those are the projections of a recent report prepared by the Energy and Industrial Advisory Partners (EIAP) for the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA).
Moreover, the industry’s average annual contribution to the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) may also decline by 55 percent over the next two decades, from $31.3 billion to $14.2 billion.
Offshore oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico is a major source of oil and natural gas in the U.S. On Jan. 21, Biden moved to suspend new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits. Following his inauguration, officials within his administration tried to reverse former President Donald Trump’s policies on energy and the environment.
Officials also moved to withdraw the federal permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, another project approved under Trump’s leadership. It would have carried 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. In an executive order, Biden said the project was not consistent with his climate plans.
At the time, Keystone XL President Richard Prior said the withdrawal of the permit would see nearly 11,000 jobs gone over the next few weeks.
Biden has wasted no time signing orders to block and revoke oil and gas permits in the name of “climate change” prevention. Yet inquiries into what the president plans to do to create jobs for those that would be left jobless by his recent executive orders have been met with evasive answers and weak promises.
In a press conference on Feb. 8, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy had pressed White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to address expected job losses due to Biden’s withdrawal of the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. (Related: Biden choice for Press Secretary Jen Psaki donned hammer & sickle hat in old photo.)
Doocy also inquired about when affected workers could expect to receive a “green job” as a replacement. He cited Biden’s earlier pledge to create “high-paying union jobs” through investments in green energy projects. In response, Psaki merely asked Doocy to present relevant data and evidence to support his question.
“Maybe next time you’re here you can present that,” said Psaki.
To conclude her response, Psaki said Biden has talked about plans to put forward a “jobs plan” in the next few weeks or months. “He has every plan to do exactly that.”
Biden has made addressing climate change a highlight of his campaign last year. It has remained at the top of his priority list during his first few weeks in office. Last month, Biden signed an array of directives designed to elevate climate change across every level of the federal government.
The directives ranged from pausing new oil leases to creating fleets of electric government vehicles. Biden had claimed that the orders would reserve 30 percent of U.S. land and water for conservation and create jobs from green energy projects and infrastructures.
However, critics argue that Biden’s new directives would inevitably hurt an economy already weakened by the pandemic. Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso said stopping oil and gas projects would kill about 18,000 jobs in the state alone and reduce one of its main sources of revenue.
Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan also blasted Biden’s directives, stating that Biden’s first few days in office have led to an “unprecedented assault on resource development and energy jobs.”
Over the past four years, Sullivan has worked with his congressional colleagues and state officials to forward a “renaissance” of responsible domestic energy production. Sullivan hopes to lessen the country’s reliance on foreign sources of oil and natural gas, as well as to create new jobs for Alaskans and Americans alike.
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