Republican Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said during an appearance Monday on “Fox & Friends” that President Joe Biden’s executive order halting oil and gas drilling on federal lands would be “devastating” for his state.
“48% of our state is federally owned and anything you do here in the energy space probably has some aspect of federal leasing associated with it,” Gordon told Fox News host Steve Doocy. “Losing that revenue is devastating to our schools, devastating to our communities, devastating to those small businesses that really depend on the energy sector.”
Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office temporarily suspending new leasing of federal lands for oil and gas development. The Interior Department said in a statement Jan. 21 that the suspension was part of a larger agency-wide review being conducted by the department.
Approximately 10% of the U.S. oil and gas supply is developed on federal lands, according to Reuters. But fossil fuels produced on federal lands account for roughly 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. Biden previously pledged during the 2020 campaign to halt new drilling on federal lands in an effort to address climate change.
Data from the Interior Department shows Wyoming generated $1.2 billion in revenue from federal lands in 2019, with more than $650 million coming from oil and gas development.
“This Biden ban really has a devastating impact not just for Wyoming,” Gordon added. “It’s bipartisan in its devastation.”
The governor also said that the administration’s plan to retrain workers for green energy jobs would not entirely alleviate the economic impact of his climate agenda. (RELATED: Experts Say Biden’s Week One Climate Actions Are Already Killing Jobs)
“There’s obviously this discussion about being able to train new workers with new jobs and new capacities, but it’s not a one for one kind of thing,” he said.
Gordon signed an executive order of his own Jan. 29 in response to the president’s action, the governor’s office said in a press release. The executive order directs Wyoming state agencies to assess the impact of the federal leasing ban and potential legal options available to the state.