Press Release

Washington DC – January 27, 2021

 -Today, U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R. CO-03) released the following statement after the President Biden signed an executive order which ended new oil and gas leases on Federal Land. 

“Blocking future oil and gas leases on 700 million acres is an unlawful attack on the livelihoods of the people in my district. COVID lockdowns have created enough unemployment and economic challenges without Joe Biden delivering more pink slips to thousands of Coloradans. People are losing everything they have and the only thing this president cares about is appeasing extremist environmentalists. While the Biden administration pretends big oil is its target, the reality is it’s the folks in small rural communities that will be hit hardest by today’s indefinite moratorium. The U.S. has the highest environmental standards in the world and if we aren’t responsibly developing these resources in America, then other countries will take these jobs and develop dirtier resources.”

Background

Today, Joe Biden signed an Executive Order that will impose an indefinite moratorium on new oil and natural gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters.

Presidents can unilaterally ban leasing on public lands. Today’s unlawful executive order violates the Mineral Leasing Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.

Colorado is one of the largest natural gas producing states in the country. Colorado’s Third Congressional District accounts for ~44% of Colorado’s natural gas production.

In addition to supporting more than 230,000 Colorado jobs, Colorado’s oil and natural gas industry provided $839 million for K-12 schools in 2015 and 2016. Oil and gas in Colorado generates more than $1 billion annually in revenues for state, local governments and school coffers. These revenues are used for schools, parks and roads throughout our state. According to the Colorado State Land Board, “[Oil and natural gas] leases resulted in approximately $1 billion earned for trust beneficiaries — Colorado schoolchildren — in the past decade.”

In 2020, oil and gas drilling on federal lands provided $11.7 billion to federal, state, local and tribal governments.

A recent energy study analyzed the economic impact of a federal leasing ban in Colorado and 7 other Western states.

The study found that during the first year under a leasing moratorium Colorado will result in $453 million in lost GDP, $224 million in lost wages, $27 million in lost state tax revenue and nearly 3,000 job losses.

Over the next 20 years, the Biden Ban will result in $639.6 billion in lost GDP, $286 billion in lost wages, $151 billion in lost state tax revenue, and job losses climbing to 343,088 annually in the eight states studied.

Federal statute in the form of the Mineral Leasing Act requires the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of the Interior to hold quarterly lease sales and to pay the state where the land or mineral deposit is located 50 percent of generated royalties.

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