Louisiana legislators to hear from industry, public on Biden’s lease moratorium

The Louisiana House Natural Resources and Environment Committee will host a joint meeting with the Senate Natural Resources Committee Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. to gather information about the recent federal action halting oil and gas leasing and exploration. 

The legislators are expected to hear from the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, various state agencies and the public. 

LMOGA and LOGA have already released statements opposing the Biden administration’s decisions to pause new oil and gas drilling leases on federal land and waters including the Gulf of Mexico, cut subsidies for fossil fuel industries and stop construction on the long-disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline. 

Louisiana’s congressional delegation has decried the moratorium, which aims to combat climate change, as a broadside attack on Louisiana’s families and America’s energy independence. U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy as well as nearly two dozen other Senate Republicans have proposed legislation trying to reverse Biden’s actions.

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry says the oil and gas industry accounts for nearly 30% of the state’s gross domestic product and nearly 250,000 people in the state have jobs tied to oil and gas and its affiliated sectors. More than 90% of the state’s energy production activities are in the Gulf, according to Stephen Waguespack, LABI president and CEO.

The meeting will be in the House chamber at the Louisiana Capitol. See the agenda here.