Debate Over Biden’s New BLM Land Rules Is Raging
A land debate is raging in Wyoming and across the Western states.
On the one hand, you might read a headline that says:
Biden’s War On Oil And Gas Continues ‘Full Steam Ahead (Cowboy State Daily).
From the other side you'll see headlines like:
Misinformation, hysteria dominate response to BLM’s plan for SW Wyoming. (WyoFile).
The two camps see completely different benefits and harms coming from new BLM rules that will affect large areas of land in Wyoming.
The BLM has proposed removing more than 1.6 million acres from oil and gas leasing.
This new National Environmental Policy Act would make it even harder than it currently is to permit any oil or gas project.
Wyoming's lone member of the U.S. House has a long list of reasons why these new rules are bad and why they must be stopped.
She sees more massive and harmful federal government overreach.
Part of the reason for the Biden administration's plans to set this land aside is not just preservation, as the administration sees it, but to fight "climate change."
The Institute for Energy Research (IER), published a list of what they refer to as actions the Biden administration and Democrats have taken, in their opinion, against oil, gas, and coal.
By November 2022, the list had 125 actions. By April, it had grown to 150. This month, the IER updated the list to 175 actions taken since President Joe Biden took office that have harmed oil, gas and coal industries. (CSD).
Wyoming lawmakers are not happy with the new rules and have pounced.
WyoFile published the following quotes from Wyoming lawmakers:
Rep. Chip Neiman (R-Hulett) called the plan “an absolute, full-on effort to completely disallow the use of these lands.”
Rep. John Winter (R-Thermopolis) said the plan would impose wilderness-like restrictions on most of the land and effectively lock out hunters.
Rep. John Bear (R-Gillette) said the plan would “take away the livelihood of hundreds of ranchers in the state of Wyoming. And it’s only going to expand from here.”
Rep. Bill Allemand (R-Midwest) said the RMP and associated Biden-administration conservation policies were “probably the biggest disaster in the history of the United States,” and would affect more people than “the Civil War, Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined.”
The BLM is not happy with what critics are saying.
They have called these statements "bombastic, largely untrue and dangerous."
“Those are outrageous comments that I can’t believe anybody in the state of Wyoming would say,” Brad Purdy, the BLM’s deputy state director for communications and a third-generation military veteran, told WyoFile.
“Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of Americans died in those wars. We’re talking about a land-use plan — and a draft land-use plan at that,” he added. “Stuff like that should be shouted down from every corner of the state. That’s just so inappropriate.”
Ryan McConnaughey, spokesperson for the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, told Cowboy State Daily that the industry in Wyoming continues despite this onslaught of regulatory attacks, but it’s had an impact.
In the video below the governors of Wyoming and South Dakota respond to the new rules, and they are not happy.
The active rig count in Wyoming has been low since COVID-19.
“It’s better than it has been recently, but nowhere near what we saw pre-COVID,” McConnaughey said. (CSD).
Rick Whitbeck, Alaska state director for Power The Future, stands with Wyoming and feels the state's pain.
“Since Day One of his presidency, Joe Biden has laid waste to the livelihoods of the 10 million Americans who work in traditional energy,” Whitbeck told Cowboy State Daily.
Should America elect a more conservative government in 2024 we can expect a relaxing of these regulations.
If the government that is elected remains more liberal, then expect more regulations.