WASHINGTON — With President Donald Trump restricting offshore drilling until 2032, and Joe Biden promising to ban oil and gas leasing on federal lands, many in the oil industry are concerned about the future.
Mike Sommers with the American Petroleum Institute said both plans will be devastating.
“About 17% of America’s oil production is from off shore in the Gulf of Mexico. And another tremendous amount of production happens on federal lands,” Sommers said.
He said a recent report by API shows losing access to federal lands and offshore waters would result in nearly one million jobs lost by 2022.
“Energy prices would go up, your economic security would go down, but the implications from a national security perspective would be tremendous as well,” he added.
Robert McEntyre, with the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, said states like New Mexico have the most to lose because most of its oil production happens on federal land.
“We would lose estimated 62,000 jobs within a year,” McEntyre said.
McEntyre also said New Mexico relies on oil and gas for most of its funding for items like infrastructure and health care access.
The oil industry is already struggling from the pandemic, Sommers said, and he hopes the candidates reconsider.
“This would come at exactly the worst time for the industry, and the implications would just be tremendous on American families,” Sommers added.