Executive Order 14008, signed last month, included a provision halting new offshore leases for oil and gas development on federal land, part of a series of actions aimed at curbing climate change. The coalition of governors sent a letter to the new president this week, arguing the pause would damage the economy as well as the energy industry.
“Where the recent surge in oil and natural gas provided jobs and created wealth when we needed it most, the order will drastically hinder the ability of the oil and gas industry to recover, both onshore and offshore, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic subside,” the letter said. “To meet consumer demand and stabilize our electric grid, we depend on energy produced on private land and public land — we need both. Simply put, the order jeopardizes our national security interests and strips away the opportunity for Americans to be energy-independent.”
The group said it was estimated the order would increase U.S. residential energy costs by $1.7 billion, in addition to impacting investment capital for offshore projects and potential economic growth. The governors also decried the lack of communication with state governments before the move and requested an open line of discussion to reach a solution.
“We encourage you to reverse course — pause the pause — and open a constructive dialogue with each of us as you have promised the American people you would do,” the governors said.
Kelli Jones, a spokeswoman for Parson, told The Missouri Times the order would not have a direct impact on Missouri but said reliance on foreign fuel would yield secondary impacts. She said oil and gas projects played a critical role in providing energy for the U.S., pointing to the winter storm that rocked the Midwest last week and the increased demand for energy in its wake.