As seen on Foxnews.com
By Reps. Steve Scalise and Yvette Herrell
Wednesday, President Biden chose left-wing activists over American workers and affordable energy costs by signing an executive order to ban new oil and gas exploration on federal lands.
Oil-producing foreign nations like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran win.
American workers employed in the energy sector lose. American consumers and families who depend on low-cost electricity lose. American public schools and first responders funded by oil and gas tax revenues lose. America's national parks and environmental restoration projects that rely on oil and gas revenues lose.
It's devastatingly simple.
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.
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. One of us, Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., represents southern New Mexico, where clean and safe energy development in the Permian Basin provides more than $1 billion a year to fund public education.
The other, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., represents southeastern Louisiana, where offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is the lifeblood of coastal communities and funds hundreds of millions of dollars in coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects.
Our friends and neighbors rely upon these jobs to pay rent, put food on the table, and keep the lights on. The Biden administration is attacking their livelihoods and jeopardizing America's energy security.
In Western states like New Mexico, where over a third of all land is owned by the federal government, the Biden administration is denying citizens' right to work where they live.
Under Biden's plan to restrict oil and gas development, New Mexico is projected to lose 60,000 jobs — 7% of the entire employed state workforce.
Local governments will lose an average of $1 billion dollars in tax revenue every year for the next five years. Nothing about Biden's ban helps New Mexicans.
In Gulf Coast states like Louisiana, the offshore drilling industry supports hundreds of thousands of jobs — 94,000 in Louisiana alone — and adds $6.7 billion to our tax revenues every year.
Under an oil-and-gas revenue sharing agreement, hundreds of millions of dollars go to rebuilding our state's vanishing coastline and funding critical hurricane protection projects.
Again, Biden's plan is projected to destroy 48,000 Louisiana jobs by 2022 and will permanently gut this important source of revenue that protects local communities.
President Biden either doesn't understand the damage he is doing to our communities or he doesn't care.
If we learned one thing from our energy renaissance over the past four years, it's that America can produce energy cleaner and cheaper than anywhere else in the world.
By banning a significant source of America's oil and gas supply, Biden ships our jobs and energy production to countries like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, who don't adhere to the same environmental standards that we enjoy.
Climate activists do not understand that banning drilling on federal lands is damaging to both our economy and our environment.
Biden's plan is also damaging to our national security. America's energy dominance secures our standing on the world stage.
When the United States became the single largest oil and gas producer in the world, we were protected from market manipulation by OPEC and rogue actors.
By undermining our energy dominance, Biden once again puts us at the mercy of foreign regimes, many of whom use those new-found billions of dollars against America and our allies.
President Biden has made clear that his actions on Wednesday are just the start of his assault on American jobs.
The same leftists who put Biden in office are demanding that he go further to ban all fossil fuels and enact policies inspired by the job-killing Green New Deal.
For these activists, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement won't be enough, cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline won't be enough, and banning drilling on federal lands won't be enough. These far-left radicals won't stop until we're fully dependent on foreign nations for our energy.