A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, N.M., in September. The state stands to lose royalties and revenue from a Biden administration pause on new oil and gas leases. In an effort to slow the nation’s contribution to climate change, President Biden is expected to begin halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters. The much-anticipated move is one of several executive actions the president is scheduled to make Wednesday to address the worsening climate crisis and the broader decline of the natural world, but it won’t come without pushback. According to White House officials, Biden will order the Department of the Interior to "pause" new oil and gas leasing on public land and offshore water "to the extent possible" and to also review existing leasing and permitting practices "related to fossil fuel development" on the properties. Oil and gas drilling on tribal land would not be barred by Biden’s order. The oil and gas industry, hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to challenge the move, as are fossil-fuel rich Western states whose economies are closely linked to extractive industry on public lands. Anticipating the move, Kathleen […]

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