A look at how President Biden’s moratorium on new oil and gas land sales may affect the ArkLaTex

A look at how President Biden’s moratorium on new oil and gas land sales may affect the ArkLaTex
FILE - In this April 24, 2015, file photo, pumpjacks work in a field near Lovington, N.M. In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years. That stands to undercut President Joe Biden's order to block new drilling on public lands to address climate change. (Source: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - There’s growing pushback after President Joe Biden signed a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on U.S. land and water; that includes from the industry leaders who call it a job killer.

As Louisiana’s two U.S. senators ask for a meeting with the president, the oil and gas industry is turning to the state level to seek a lawsuit to stop the president’s moratorium.

It’s already been a tough time for the industry, after several years of low gas prices, combined now with the economic slowdown.

“It’s very demoralizing for the oil and gas workers across the country. I mean not only the, you know, that ban but also the Keystone Pipeline. I mean, it’s just a gut punch to, as I just mentioned, to an industry that’s been down for 6 years. It’s not, not what we needed for sure,” said Mike Moncla, interim president for Louisiana Oil & Gas Association.

Environmentalists, however, contend short-term pain is the cost of saving our planet’s future to slow climate change. Moratorium opponents promise to fight the order.

Environmentalists contend that it’s a fairly easy calculation of either pay now, with the loss of jobs, or pay later with permanent damage done to our planet.

“And we’re talking about two, three, four generations into the future. We’re not just talking about where is somebody going to be working in four or five years from now. If we take that limited perspective not only are we putting ourselves at an economic disadvantage with respect to the rest of the country. We’re also putting our environment at a disadvantage,” said Professor Brian Salvatore, with the LSUS chemistry department.

Despite the president’s moratorium on new gas leases in the gulf, some argue that the future for Louisiana, when it comes to energy production, still looks bright, even when it comes to green energy, specifically wind.

Salvatore says Louisiana has been rated as having one of the greatest offshore potentials for wind energy at a height of about 350 feet. Since we’re already familiar with the sight of oil and gas platforms, Salvatore says we likely won’t hear too many complaints of unsightly wind turbines.

Over 200,000 LA oil and gas jobs at risk

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