House Republican lawmakers are coming out in force against President Biden’s executive actions related to the oil and gas industry amid concerns of massive job losses in the midst of economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Biden signed a series of executive actions related to climate change and pitched a slew of new policies, including promoting energy-efficient cars and homes, as a boon to the workforce.
There is worry, however, that the efforts will result in massive displacement in the coal, oil and gas industries, such as when Biden halted construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, reportedly causing thousands of layoffs.
In an op-ed published by Fox News Thursday, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM) explained the impacts of the 46th president’s edicts on their districts specifically.
“As two concerned leaders who represent these very communities, we’re raising the alarm about President Biden’s heavy-handed and job-killing executive actions,” the two lawmakers wrote.
In Herrell’s southern New Mexico district, “clean and safe energy development in the Permian Basin provides more than $1 billion a year to fund public education.”
“Offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico,” an area Scalise has represented since 2008, “is the lifeblood of coastal communities and funds hundreds of millions of dollars in coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects.”
“In the middle of a pandemic, while states are struggling to get their economies back on track and hard-working families and small businesses are suffering, it’s not just thoughtless for President Biden to sign these heavy-handed executive orders — it’s destructive,” they argued, going on to call on Biden “to reverse these harmful actions at once.”
Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, and Herrell are not the only ones in their caucus protesting these specific orders from the commander-in-chief.
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) introduced two bills on Thursday seeking to block the Biden administration’s directive to halt oil and gas leases on federal land.
The two pieces of legislation, one aimed toward oil and gas, the other aimed at coal, would require Biden to get approval from Congress to be able to issue his moratoriums.
“The executive actions from the Biden Administration banning new leasing and permitting on federal land endanger our economy and threaten our national security,” Cheney said in a statement.
“The legislation I am introducing today would safeguard against these damaging orders, and prevent the job loss, higher energy costs, and loss of revenue that promises to come with them,” the No. 3 House Republican continued.
With Democrats holding the majority in both houses of Congress, however, the bill is unlikely to pass.