Congressman Gonzalez Leads Letter to Biden Administration to Rescind Federal Energy Leasing Ban
Today, a group of Democratic lawmakers, led by Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), sent a letter to the Biden administration requesting them to rescind the recent Executive Order that would ban responsible energy leasing on federal lands and waters. The other signatories of the letter include Reps. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) and Marc Veasey (TX-33).
The group of lawmakers are concerned about the far-reaching implications of this Executive Order in the short-term given the impact of COVID-19 on local economies including the loss of jobs, increased budget shortfalls, and weakening of the U.S. national security apparatus as it pertains to American energy independence.
"From day one, President Biden and his administration have taken bold action to address the problems we face as a nation. Climate change is a pending and imminent threat, but any action on the federal level must come after careful and thoughtful consideration," said Congressman Gonzalez. "Texas, particularly the 15th District of Texas, has been ravaged by the coronavirus and this recent Executive Order will hurt an already suffering community. Therefore, I urge the Biden administration to rescind this federal order and reevaluate the impact of this measure with input from relevant stakeholders and experts. I, and my colleagues, stand ready to work with President Biden, the incoming Secretary of Interior and other stakeholders to develop a thoughtful policy that addresses climate change, protects American jobs and moves us forward."
In the letter the lawmakers write:
As the United States works to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 400,000 Americans and destroyed the livelihoods of many more, now is not the time to jeopardize American jobs, or the critical tax and royalty revenues that federal leases generate for local, state, and federal government that need funds now. Instead, we should invest in our nation's infrastructure and create the jobs that will help our nation emerge stronger after this pandemic.
We were pleased to see your Administration rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on Day 1, and we want to work with you on your Build Back Better agenda. We urge you to rescind this order and to reject policies that would ban responsible oil and gas leasing on federal lands and federal waters. We are eager to work together to develop sound, informed policy that strengthens the economy, secures jobs for Americans and protects our environment. American families rely upon secure, safe and affordable energy supplies and constituents in our districts are depending on government working proactively to move forward together in 2021 as we build back better. We are ready to do so, and look forward to working with your administration.
The full letter can be found here.