Fossil fuel trade groups in Louisiana and New Mexico rallied Democratic governors in opposition to President Joe Biden’s executive order pausing new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and in offshore waters, newly released emails show, according to Huffington Post.
The Biden administration paused new leases on Jan. 27 and launched a major review of the federal oil and gas leasing program. Interior Department officials have said the program currently is “not serving the American public well.”
The behind-the-scenes lobbying included the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association introducing top energy officials in Louisiana and New Mexico to one another. LMOGA also provided the Louisiana official with information about how restricting oil and gas development would hurt the state’s economy, and it helped ghostwrite a letter that Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards sent to Biden arguing, among other things, that confronting climate effects depends on continued offshore fossil fuel development.
Edwards and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat) have both spoken out against the Biden administration’s leasing freeze, publicly and in letters to the president. Louisiana joined more than a dozen other states in suing the administration over the executive order.
The communications, obtained by government watchdog group Documented via a public records request, highlight the growing role regional industry associations play in fighting regulations as part of climate action.