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Press Release

Biden’s Executive Order on Climate Harms Economy, Environment

  • EMR Subcommittee

Today, President Joe Biden signed an executive order titled, “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:

“Job killing, top-down, detrimental regulation is the Democrat way. President Biden has proven this during his first week in office. Halting new energy leasing and development on federal land not only puts thousands of Americans out of work in the middle of a pandemic, but it also prevents states from investing energy revenues into schools, environmental programs, community development, and more. The administration’s directive to conserve 30 percent of our lands by 2030 should not just be another attempt to lock up land and halt energy development. This is preservation, not conservation. We’ve made incredible progress over the years, making our energy cleaner, cheaper, and safer than ever. We should continue producing it here at home. Instead, President Biden is cutting off our supply while the demand continues to grow, forcing us to depend on energy from overseas. Policymaking should be a rational, long-term plan, not based in knee-jerk, unscientific decisions that do absolutely nothing to help the environment.”  


This executive order establishes an indefinite moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases on federal lands and water, “pending completion of a comprehensive review and reconsideration of Federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices.” Many western states depend on energy revenues to fund environmental programs and community development, but this order will directly impact their ability to do so. It will also have a national impact. In 2019 alone, the Department of the Interior disbursed $8.08 billion in funds generated by energy production on federal and tribal lands and waters, with $2.88 billion going to the Treasury and $1.81 billion going to energy-producing states. This ban on new leasing will create an opportunity cost in the billions and increase our national debt. In addition, this order jeopardizes the future of important conservation programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund, among others.

The executive order also pledges to preserve 30 percent of land and water by 2030. This threshold is arbitrary, not based in scientific fact and would just lock up more public land, preventing energy development, outdoor recreation, forest management, hunting, fishing and more.