With the intention of fighting climate change, President Joe Biden has placed a 60-day suspension on oil and gas permitting on federal lands and waters.
The order reverses a Trump administration policy that led the country to energy independence. Federal leases account for nearly 25% of the nation’s crude oil output, but also adds to the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The suspension was supported by environmentalists but derided by the oil and gas industry.
The suspension will stop the Interior Department agencies and bureaus from their authority to issue drilling leases or permits, but will not limit existing operations.
Jesse Prentice-Dunn, policy director of the environmental advocacy group Center for Western Priorities, said
“the Biden administration is rightfully attempting to take stock of the damage and make sure the agency is following the law.”
In a statement, the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association said that restricting development
“risks the loss of more than 60,000 jobs and $800 million in support for our public schools, first responders, and healthcare services.”
The move comes after President Biden signed an executive order canceling a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.