On the day President Joe Biden issued an executive order to halt drilling leases on federal land — a move critics say will cost thousands of Americans their jobs and hurt many states who benefit from oil and gas revenues — Democrat Rep. Conor Lamb said environmental executive orders halting American energy production will help western Pennsylvania.
Pittsburg Post-Gazette reported on Lamb’s remarks:
Mr. Lamb, in an interview Wednesday, characterized the moves as consistent with what Mr. Biden campaigned on. Mr. Biden’s overall plan to revive the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, will have a far greater impact on Western Pennsylvania energy jobs than the public lands moratorium or the Keystone pipeline cancellation.
“His policies are overall going to lift demand for labor and grow the economy in that way,” Mr. Lamb said, pointing to Mr. Biden’s
“Buy American” executive order this week and his pledges to rebuild infrastructure.
“I’ve always argued that, if anything, that drilling ban helps Western Pennsylvania because we drill on private land here so they’ll be more demand for our gas,” Mr. Lamb added.
Others in the state disagree, including Dave Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition – the Robinson, Pennsylvania, based natural gas trade organization, who said Biden’s action will have a “chilling effect” on pipeline investment in the state and raise energy costs for American consumers.
“We have some of the strongest rules in the world for the development of energy,” Spigelmyer said in the
Post-Gazette report. “Why would we not develop our own resources under high regulation and oversight instead of allowing someone else to drill for those resources and sell it back to America?”