U.S. Chamber Welcomes Biden Focus on Climate Solutions, Opposes Federal Lands and Waters Energy Ban

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 3:00pm

WASHINGTON – In response to today’s announcement of White House actions on climate change, Marty Durbin, Senior Vice President of Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, made the following statement: 

“The U.S. Chamber applauds President Biden’s ‘whole of government’ approach to combatting climate change. The impacts of climate change are far reaching and it will take smart policies across a wide spectrum of issues to achieve meaningful global emissions reductions while also supporting economic growth and job creation. This will also require the focus and attention of Congress. Ultimately, businesses must develop and deploy the technologies necessary to make meaningful progress on climate. The business community stands ready to provide input and has already been taking action on issues such as environmental justice, technology development, and international cooperation. We agree that science should transparently drive federal decision making and support efforts to bring it to the forefront. 

“However, the Administration’s move to impose an indefinite ban on new energy production on federal lands and waters is bad policy and counterproductive to the goals of supporting the economy and combatting climate change. Experts agree that the world will need oil and gas for decades, and that natural gas in particular is essential to meet emissions reductions goals and allow for the deployment of more renewable energy. Such a ban will also starve local communities of revenue that funds state and local governments and schools.

“About 12 percent of gas production and 22 percent of oil production occurs on federal lands and waters. Without the prospect of future leases, investment and planning will begin to dry up immediately, thwarting job creation and the economic growth at the worst possible time.  While demand is unpredictable, especially during a pandemic, banning new production does not decrease it. Limiting production of gas on federal lands will drive production to private lands, having a devastating effect on New Mexico, Colorado, the Gulf states and others, while limiting oil production on federal lands will simply push investment to foreign sources, harming our economic and national security in the process. Therefore, this ban will not reduce emissions—it will only weaken our economy.”