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Federal Lands and Waters Leasing Statement

A Statement from PESA Vice President Government Affairs Tim Tarpley

Yesterday, the Department of Interior issued an order temporarily suspending new leasing and permitting for fossil fuel production on federal lands and waters. 

The Order, however, does not appear to limit oil and gas operations under valid leases, so previously approved activities and operations may continue. The scope and extent of “existing operations” under Section 3G is unclear, and PESA is currently working with DOI to clarify.  

PESA is strongly opposed to this temporary moratorium, which we anticipate will be made permanent by the Administration soon. Oil and gas development and production on public lands represents 72,000 jobs for American men and women and is responsible for $19.6 billion in annual wages. 

In addition, without the natural gas produced on federal lands, gas-powered electricity generation would decrease from 40% to 14% by 2025. Such a decrease could increase US carbon emissions. According to the Energy Information Administration, America’s shift from coal to natural gas reduced CO2 emissions by more than 2.8 billion metric tons since 2005. This is the largest source of energy-related carbon savings. 

As America begins to recover from the COVID crisis, we need affordable, clean and abundant energy, as well as good paying American jobs. While we look forward to working with the Administration going forward, this moratorium would deprive Americans of continued access to the affordable natural gas needed to power our recovery. 

For more information about PESA’s advocacy efforts, contact Vice President Government Affairs Tim Tarpley.