President Joe Biden’s first days in office have sounded an alarm for those concerned about American jobs.
Frank Macchiarola, the senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs for the American Petroleum Institute, voiced his concerns in an interview Jan. 23 with Matt Boyle of “Breitbart News Saturday” on Sirius XM.
Biden wasted no time in canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, delivering on a campaign promise to kill a project that was expected to provide 11,000 direct jobs and as many as 60,000 others, according to a news release from several Republican senators.
Day 1: The Biden admin cancelled the #KeystonePipeline.
Day 2: The Biden admin banned new fracking on federal land.
The Biden admin’s message to America’s blue-collar workers: If you are a blue-collar worker in the energy industry, find a new job.https://t.co/C0iFd79cTs
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 21, 2021
The president also announced a 60-day suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits for federal lands and waters — a move that could mean the loss of 1 million jobs if it becomes permanent, according to Macchiarola.
“I think the first four days of the Biden administration have given a clear picture of what the next four years could look like,” he told Breitbart.
“President Biden comes into office with a real economic headwind and a difficult labor market, but at the same time he inherited an energy [landscape] that’s stronger because of America’s shale revolution.”
Now, it is important to note that the canceling of the Keystone XL pipeline and the suspension of permits on federal land are just two instances of actions related to job loss. However, if this trend continues, it will prove devastating to American workers and detrimental to the United States’ independence in the oil and gas market.
“The president has a choice to make: He can maintain U.S. leadership and maintain and support our economic recovery with American energy or he can pursue policies that destroy jobs and at the same time increase energy imports,” Macchiarola told Breitbart.
Limiting reliance on other nations for resources such as oil and gas whenever possible is extremely important.
“For the first time in 2019 in 67 years [the U.S.] became a net exporter of energy rather than a net importer. That’s a huge deal. And abandoning federal leasing heads in a different direction,” Macchiarola said.
According to Breitbart, 22 percent of oil production and 12 percent of natural gas production were conducted on federal land or waters in 2019. If the 60-day suspension becomes permanent, the United States would become more dependent on other nations for its oil and gas once again.
The toll on workers would also be devastating.
“The full-scale ban of development on federal lands, you can bet the impact could be up to a million jobs in the United States,” Macchiarola told Breitbart.
The last thing to do in a global pandemic that has crippled the economy is to willingly cancel good jobs, but this is what Biden is doing.
One small glimmer of hope that Macchiarola mentioned is that Biden’s nominee for secretary of the interior is Democratic Rep. Debra Haaland of New Mexico. Numerous aspects of her state’s economy rely on the oil and gas industry, and it is one of the states hit the hardest by Biden’s leasing moratorium.
President Joe Biden’s 60-day moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits is prompting widespread concerns in New Mexico, where spending on education and other government programs hinges on the industry’s success. https://t.co/XOMPSpUURT
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 23, 2021
API produced a study last year that showed a ban of permits on federal land could cost up to 5 percent of all jobs in New Mexico, Breitbart reported. Hopefully, if Haaland is confirmed, she will represent her constituency and advocate for the importance of energy independence and workers.
Actions speak louder than words, and Biden has shown through his actions in his first days in office that he does not care about the livelihoods of millions of America’s hardest workers.