With the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden has made his intentions towards the oil and gas industry very clear in his initial days in office by setting into motion a myriad of executive orders implementing his energy and climate initiatives. Highlighted below are some of those orders in particular:
- Suspending all oil and gas permitting on federal lands
- Placing a moratorium on activity in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
- Cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline
- Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement
- Implementing reforms of environmental policies from the previous administration
With regards to the suspension of permitting on federal lands, Order No. 3395 was issued by the Acting Secretary of the Interior, Scott de la Vega, temporarily suspending delegated authority within the Department of the Interior. Meaning that decisions previously made on the “bureau level” will be solely up to the discretion of the Secretary and affiliated officials.
Below is a Map from the Bureau of land Management depicting all of the federal lands (surface and subsurface) throughout the United States. It is easily discernible that this suspension of permitting on federal lands will have a devastating impact on the oil and gas industry and the communities reliant on the revenue and jobs affiliated with the industry predominately in the Western U.S.
Eddy Daniels, Sara Glover, Phil Lookadoo, Mary Mendoza and Chris Reagen. “Biden Administration Day 1 Energy and Environmental Orders.” Haynesboone.com. Web. January 22, 2021.