In an executive order this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott directed all state agencies to look for ways for the Lone Star State to combat what he termed President Joe Biden’s “extreme hostility toward the energy sector, and thus toward Texas.”
In the order, Abbott compelled “every state agency to use all lawful powers and tools to challenge any federal action that threatens the continued strength, vitality and independence of the energy industry. Each state agency should work to identify potential litigation, notice-and-comment opportunities, and any other means of preventing federal overreach within the law.”
Abbott’s directive came hot on the heels of Biden’s spree of climate change executive actions that have taken aim at the fossil fuel industry. Among other things, Biden has killed the Keystone XL pipeline project and suspended new gas leases for drilling on federal lands. Oil companies will now also be prohibited from any drilling in the 1002 Area of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Texas representatives in Washington are also trying to fight the president’s war on energy. In a bill introduced this week, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) is looking to keep leases going for Gulf of Mexico drillers.
“Texas energy producers are bearing the brunt of President Biden’s foolish, job-killing executive orders in the first days of this administration,” Crenshaw said in a statement.
The Texas Republican said the Biden administration is “showing little regard to the livelihoods of blue-collar workers who are already struggling during this pandemic.”
“Energy production is critical for jobs, our economy, and also funds coastland conservation and hurricane preparedness,” he continued. “This bill will ensure that production continues despite President Biden’s terrible executive orders.”
Called the Conservation Funding Protection Act, Crenshaw’s bill would require the federal government to offer at least two lease sales on acreage in the Gulf of Mexico each year. He is joined by Rep. Steve Scalise and several other Texas representatives in sponsoring the legislation.
“When Washington radicals ban drilling on federal lands, Americans lose their jobs, investment flows overseas, and communities across America lose a primary source of revenue for schools, health care, and conservation efforts,” Scalise wrote Thursday.
Killing jobs and decimating integral industries is never great policy, but it is an unforgivable blunder when our economy is already struggling under the extreme pressures of the pandemic. Someone needs to talk some sense into this president before he wrecks the damn country.