January 21, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) issued the following statement in response to one of the Biden administration’s first Department of the Interior memos, which will effectively ban oil, gas, and coal leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters for at least the next 60 days. The memo was signed by acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega, and it applies to all of the agency’s bureaus, including the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
“When it comes to energy policy, the Biden administration is off to a divisive and disastrous start,” said Barrasso. “Wyoming and other western states have oil and gas lease sales scheduled. Several of these lease sales will be held in the next sixty days. Slowing these projects down will kill jobs for hardworking Americans and reduce a critical source of revenue to states like Wyoming. As the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, President Biden is handing out pink slips on day one. The decision to try to halt these projects without process is not just ill-advised, it’s illegal. The Department of the Interior has a legal obligation to act on drilling permit applications after ten days. Staff memos cannot override the law.”