With the stroke of a pen President Joe Biden eliminated tens of thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industry, but those lost jobs were not the only result: Conservation will be suffering, too.
Western Energy Alliance spokeswoman Kathleen Sgamma, who recently described the lost energy jobs to One News Now, says Biden’s executive order is a terrible decision not only for harming the industry but, ironically, for ending the flow of funds that help protect our lands and waters.
WEA contends the companies being vilified by the Biden administration, and now at risk of losing their livelihood, returned a whopping $9.8 billion in revenue and royalties in 2019. For example, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is funded completely by offshore leasing and by development revenue. The energy alliance says The Great American Outdoors Act, signed by Donald Trump, directed $900 million to that fund.
Sgamma also points out the Outdoors Act directs up to $1.3 billion annually toward addressing the $13 billion maintenance backlog at national parks.
"There are over 130 million acres already protected in the wilderness areas, national parks, other designated preservation areas. We're not talking about those lands," says Sgamma. "We're talking about those working landscapes across the West that have been deemed appropriate for energy development, through a public process that takes years, and these lands that are open are appropriate for energy development."