Biden Leasing Pause, One Year Later: The Sky Hasn’t Fallen

Feb 7th, 2022 Written by Landon Newell

It’s now been a year since President Biden issued his Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Among other things, the order placed a pause on oil and gas leasing on federal public lands and committed the United States to a ten-year goal of conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.

At the time, SUWA called the leasing moratorium “a common sense and desperately needed step to right the ship and chart a more thoughtful, climate conscious path forward as our nation Builds Back Better.” Not surprisingly, Utah Governor Spencer Cox and pro-drilling groups such as the Western Energy Alliance immediately launched an aggressive campaign claiming the pause would have devastating effects on Utah’s rural economy.

So what actually happened? In short, those dire predictions proved wildly inaccurate.

To learn just how inaccurate they were and why, we invite you to scroll through our story map, The Pause on New Oil & Gas Leasing in Utah: One Year Later (and share it with friends).

Click image to view story map

For far too long the BLM has wrongly elevated oil and gas leasing and development as the primary use of our nation’s public lands, threatening our climate, wild places, cultural heritage, and the continued existence of thousands of species. This unbalanced approach must stop now. Our wild places—and the climate crisis—demand no less.