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La. oil and gas leaders say Biden climate orders could ‘devastate’ state’s economy

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 6:30 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - President Joe Biden put more pen to paper on Wednesday, Jan. 27, focusing his executive orders this time on sweeping climate change initiatives. However, oil and gas leaders in Louisiana say it will have a devastating impact on the state’s economy.

President Biden said he’s making climate change the core of his agenda moving forward.

“This will put climate change at the center of our domestic, national security and foreign policy,” said President Biden.

One of the president’s moves is catching the eye of the Bayou State. Mr. Biden put a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on public lands.

“This is about jobs, good-paying union jobs. It’s about workers and building our economy back better than before,” said President Biden.

However, oil and gas advocates in Louisiana are singing a different tune after the announcement. Louisiana’s Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association said it will devastate Louisiana’s economy.

“You know people are losing jobs in general with the downturn right now and on top of that we have a president once again with a stroke of the pen enacting executive orders, impacting livelihoods of families right here in our own state,” said Lori Leblanc, VP of LMOGA.

A recent American Petroleum Institute study says Louisiana could lose 48,000 jobs by 2022 if drilling is banned. It’s a more than $73 billion industry in Louisiana.

President Biden also halted the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Senator Bill Cassidy said it’s a bad move for the state, and it will force the U.S. to get oil overseas.

“President Biden has just put a target on these energy jobs. That is bad for the worker, that is bad for the environment, it’s bad for our country and it’s bad for our world,” said Sen. Cassidy.

“We have already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can’t wait any longer. We see it with our eyes, we feel it, we know it in our bones,” said President Biden.

LMOGA said they can be part of the solution.

“There’s no reason why this industry can’t be part of the solution and they already have been. We have invested billions of dollars in carbon capture technology and are working towards that effort,” said Leblanc.

The president also announced the formation of a climate task force and said he will host a leaders’ climate summit on Earth Day on April 22.

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