Suspending Federal Oil and Natural Gas Leasing and Permitting will Threaten Jobs and Environmental Progress

January 22, 2021

AUSTIN-Under the new Biden Administration, the Acting Interior Secretary has signed a 60-day Temporary Suspension of Delegated Authority that, among other things, suspends the issuance of federal onshore and offshore oil and natural gas leasing permits. Should this action become permanent, it would be devastating to jobs, communities and economies nationwide and would set back tremendous environmental progress, according to the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA).

“Banning energy development on federal lands and in offshore waters not only threatens thousands of the best-paying jobs but needlessly erases much needed revenue that helps pay for schools and other essential services,” said Todd Staples, president of TXOGA. “American oil and natural gas is safe, clean and abundant, and misguided policies will only stifle our nation’s energy and environmental progress.”

In September of last year, TXOGA, the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) released an analysis warning of negative consequences from such suspensions. The offshore Gulf of Mexico accounts for over 15 percent of U.S. oil production, and research indicated local economies in the Gulf Coast region would be among the hardest hit areas with more than 200,000 job losses by 2022 and millions of dollars in reduced revenue:

  • States in the Gulf Coast region could lose more than $223 million annually in revenue, including $65 million for Texas, $95 million for Louisiana, $31 million for Alabama and $32 million for Mississippi.
  • Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi could lose more than $22 million in funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
  • Offshore production for natural gas would decrease by 68 percent and for oil by 44 percent and U.S. oil imports from foreign sources would increase by 2 million barrels a day.
  • Nearly one million American jobs would be lost by 2022, including more than 200,000 jobs in the Gulf Coast region.
    • Texas would lose nearly 120,000 jobs.
    • Louisiana would lose over 48,000 jobs.
    • Alabama would lose nearly 21,000 jobs.
    • Mississippi would lose nearly 14,000 jobs.

“The oil and natural gas industry is producing energy in cleaner and more efficient ways than 10 to 15 years ago all while producing more affordable and reliable energy to power our daily lives,” said Staples. “Increased use of natural gas is the number one reason U.S. power sector carbon dioxide emissions have fallen 33% since 2007. Innovations in oil and natural gas development will continue to lead the way in environmental progress and smart, science-based policies must be in place to ensure a cleaner, stronger and better energy future here and across the globe.”

 +++