President Biden enacted a flurry of new executive orders last week, further cementing his decision to bypass working with Congress on any meaningful legislation. After canceling the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline on his second day in office – a decision which will destroy American jobs and drive up the cost of energy – Biden has continued waging war on the American oil and gas industry. He has even gone so far as to publicly admit his administration is targeting “the economies of coal, oil, and gas, and power plant communities.” As a result of the president’s actions, thousands of Americans will lose their jobs and American energy independence will become a thing of the past.
Last week, President Biden signed an executive order placing a moratorium on oil and gas leases on federal lands and water. This action will have catastrophic effects on Alabama’s thriving oil and gas industry, which supports 28,000 jobs in the state, and last year alone provided $50 million in revenue to the state’s coffers. As my colleagues Rep. Scalise and Rep. Herrell said, “When Washington radicals ban drilling on federal lands, Americans lose their jobs, investment flows overseas, and communities across America lose a primary source of revenue for schools, health care and conservation efforts.”
Under President Trump’s leadership, America became energy independent for the first time in decades, and we became the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. Instead of building on this progress and working alongside the private sector to move forward with free-market innovations and clean energy solutions, President Biden chooses to impose top-down government mandates that stifle innovation, eliminate American jobs, and threaten America’s energy independence.
The president’s actions are unacceptable, and I am fighting back every step of the way. Last week, I signed onto a bill that would require lease sales in the western and central Gulf of Mexico to continue under the status quo. I have also co-sponsored legislation that would prevent this administration from enacting any moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing or permitting without Congressional approval. America is a world leader in environmental standards, so it is unconscionable to lock up our lands and force us to rely on oil imported from overseas. President Biden should not have the ability to unilaterally cripple an entire industry with the stroke of a pen, and I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to do their part to stop this war on America’s oil and gas industry.
Jerry Carl represents Alabama’s First Congressional District. He lives in Mobile with his wife Tina.