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Wyoming Senator Seeks Clarification on Oil & Gas Leasing

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) sent a letter to acting Secretary de la Vega at the Department of Interior with questions about recent executive orders on oil and gas leasing. Barrasso is the senior senator from Wyoming and a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources.

On January 27, President Biden signed a series of executive orders affecting the oil and gas industry. Of particular concern was the “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” order, which paused oil and gas leases on federal lands. Energy Workforce & Technology Council’s Tim Tarpley analyzed how this order affects Council members and launched a robust response via a coalition of allied trade groups.

Barrasso’s letter includes two dozen questions to the Department of Interior on inconsistencies within the order and states his opposition to the leasing moratorium. He requested a response by February 12. One of the main issues he points out is that “BLM is permitting activities in New Mexico that the agency is not permitting in Wyoming.”

Barrasso also seeks clarification on definition of what is considered “existing operations under valid leases,” and whether BLM will approve new permits to drill. The Council has received similar inquiries from Members and has not received clear answers from Interior yet.

The Council has met with multiple members of Congress who are potential allies on this issue and will continue to update Council Members on our efforts.  If you would like to get involved in the Council’s advocacy efforts on this, or any other issue, please contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley