Energy In Depth spokesman Will Allison was on the radio Thursday morning with Weld County, Colorado-based KFKA host Gail Fallen to discuss the Biden Administration’s decision to ban new leasing permits for oil and natural gas development on federal lands.
Colorado is the fourth-highest producing state of oil and natural gas production on federal lands in the country including an output of 4 million barrels of oil and 19 million cubic feet (mmcf) of natural gas in Weld County and 175 mmcf of natural gas in Garfield County on the Western Slope.
Click here to listen to the full interview and see highlights below.
On Job Losses:
“In Garfield County, where a lot of natural gas is produced, and that’s where State Sen. Bob Rankin was quoted in a local news story and said, ‘I believe the gas industry in Western Colorado may just collapse. Many of the operators, he says, are small business owners who employ thousands of people in Garfield. These are small companies. Many of them will just cease, go bankrupt, go out of business.’
“It’s just not the workers who work for the oil and gas companies, it’s also the hotels, the restaurants, the hardware stores, the coffee shops; all of these things form a big economic ecosystem that’s going to have a big economic impact for a lot of working class and blue collar folks in Colorado and across the American West.”
On the False Promise of the “Just Transition”:
“During the campaign, candidate Biden made a big deal and talked a lot about a ‘Just Transition’ ensuring that workers don’t get left behind. Unfortunately, that’s already happening. It’s happening with the Keystone XL pipeline; it’s happening down in New Mexico. Unfortunately, those pledges for supporting workers is not coming true under these new federal policies.”
On Environmental Damages:
“Part of the federal lands (policy) is going to be banning production in the Gulf of Mexico and there was an Obama-era report that said production there is very clean because companies there are required to capture every single molecule of oil and gas there, and if you ban production there, the United States would then have to import oil from other countries and then that requires emissions for the ships to come to the United States, then that would have the opposite effect of what the Biden Administration is hoping to do.
“…New Mexico and Wyoming have both said that this ban on federal lands would have environmental effects because it’s going to reduce their flexibility to manage operations, perform reclamation projects, and ensure oil and gas gets moved to market. Unfortunately, a policy that was sold as something to fight climate change may actually have the opposite effect.”
On Rep. Haaland’s Interior Secretary Nomination:
“That’s going to be New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland whose been nominated to be the Interior Secretary and that’s the department that oversees the Bureau of Land Management, which overseas federal leasing. In the past, she has been very opposed to oil and natural gas development on federal lands despite the fact that in New Mexico it supplies nearly $1 billion every couple years in revenue to her state.”
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