Utah Petroleum Association denounces Biden Administration’s 60-day moratorium on oil and natural gas leasing
Salt Lake City— The Utah Petroleum Association (UPA) reacted swiftly to the announcement by acting Secretary of the Interior Scott de la Vega of a 60-day moratorium on all oil and natural gas leases with disappointment and condemnation.
“This is a unilateral decision made by the Biden Administration that, giving them the benefit of the doubt, is likely well-intentioned given President Biden’s campaign promises,” says UPA president Rikki Hrenko-Browning. “But what it does, in reality, is negatively impact local economies all across the West including Utah, infringes on Native American sovereignty and self-determination, and works against the Biden Administration’s goal of combating climate change.”
United States carbon emissions have fallen consistently over the last decade thanks in large part to the increased use of natural gas for power generation, according to the Energy Information Administration. In 2020 US emissions fell 11 percent due in large part to reduced demand because of impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, but continues the overall downward trend of emissions reductions since 2005. According to the Environmental Protection Agency in April of 2020, nationwide greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 10% overall since 2005, and 27 percent in the power generation sector specifically.
“This action will not aid in the Administration’s climate goals. The collateral damage felt to Tribal lands, local economies, and the nation’s overall energy security will be felt profoundly in Utah and beyond. We strongly urge the Biden Administration to revisit this decision and instead work in a collaborative fashion, in the way his Inaugural Address portended.”