WASHINGTON — A group of Republican governors sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday asking him to rescind an executive order that halts new leases for oil and gas development on federal land, arguing that it will have a negative impact on their economies and will cost consumers.
Biden signed the lease moratorium Jan. 27 as part of a broader series of executive actions seeking to curb climate change. The executive order, which applies to offshore leases, does not apply to existing leases for development on federal lands or leases on tribal land.
The letter, which was led by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, was co-signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.
Biden’s executive order “has a negative economic effect upon western states with large tracts of federal land and upon Gulf Coast states, chasing away capital investment for long-term economic growth and undermining public services, public conservation, public safety, public education, and more,” the letter states. “Beyond directly impacted states, the Order is estimated to spike American residential energy costs by $1.7 billion per year.”
The Wyoming Legislature commissioned a report last year that estimated a federal lease moratorium would result in a $639.7 billion hit to gross domestic product (GDP) in Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, California,