US President Joe Biden’s Climate Change agenda seems to be getting the better of him. Throughout his campaign streak, the 78 years-old kept promising that he will prudently tackle Climate Change. But now that Biden has come at the helm of affairs in the White House, he has started with some knee-jerk reactions that are bound to hurt American interests.
Take for instance, the state of New Mexico. Biden has imposed a 60-day moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits on federal land and in federal water. The rash decision is causing widespread concerns in New Mexico, where public spending on education and other public programs hinges on the industry’s success.
Senior Republicans as well as local leaders in communities that border the Permian Basin, one of the highly productive regions in the US, apprehend that any move to make the moratorium permanent would be economically devastating for New Mexico. Half of the state’s production depends on federal land and runs into hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty on an annual basis.
Clearly, Biden’s decision has hit half of New Mexico’s booming oil and natural gas drilling industry. In fact, Congressional members from other Western states have also started questioning the imprudent moratorium. They say the ripple effect of the suspension could further hurt small businesses which are already struggling under the slowdown triggered by the Wuhan virus Pandemic.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway told The Associated Press, “During his inauguration, President Biden spoke about bringing our nation together. Eliminating drilling on public lands will cost thousands of New Mexicans their jobs and destroy what’s left of our state’s economy.” Janway added, “How does that bring us together? Environmental efforts should be fair and well-researched, not knee-jerk mandates that just hurt an already impoverished state.”
In Utah, a state delegation asked Biden to reconsider what they called an arbitrary decision. Meanwhile, industry groups continue to warn that Biden’s moratorium could lead to loss of hundreds of thousands of blue-collar jobs.
Within New Mexico, the issue is getting very complicated. There is only one Republican in the US Congress from New Mexico, freshman Rep. Yvette Herrell. She is the only member of the state’s delegation who has publicly spoken against the 60-day moratorium issued by Biden.
As for the Democrats in New Mexico, they know that their party has a tendency to vilify the state’s oil and gas industry over pollution concerns. But they should also know that the oil and gas industry is New Mexico’s top economic driver. It contributes heavy revenues into the state’s coffers, and also supports about 100,000- directly or indirectly.
The Associated Press has quoted New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett as saying, “Certainly we all understand the critical importance of this industry to New Mexico’s bottom line and of the imperative to diversify our state economy and energy portfolio.”
What is happening with New Mexico is simply unfortunate. Biden’s desperation to emerge as a tall environmentalist is leading to anarchist policies which have hurt New Mexico in a big way. It seems Biden has no plans for diversifying the US economy, yet he is simply going to cut the oil and gas industry to size regardless of the consequences.