President Joe Biden, along with the United States Department of Interior issued an order that, for the next 60 days, suspends approval of new oil and gas leases, along with key agency, regulatory, and development actions.

Wake Up Wyoming logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

The order itself, stated that it was "made for the purpose of implementing a targeted and time limited elevation of relevant decisions at the Department of the Interior (Department) for the purposes of reviewing the questions of fact, law, and policy they raise. This Order ensures that the Department continues its existing operations-including operations necessary for health, safety, and national security matters-consistent with all legal obligations and policy goals to uphold trust and treaty responsibility to tribal nations and to responsibly steward the Nation's public lands, waters, and resources for current and future generations."

Prominent Wyoming authority figures, such as Governor Mark Gordon and Congresswoman Liz Cheney, as well as local agencies like the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, have issued statements condemning the move.

The Petroleum Association of Wyoming stated that, "Since the November election, we have known that executive orders aimed at hampering natural gas and oil production on federal lands would come fast and furious in the first days of the Biden administration. Yesterday's 60-day suspension of all federal leases and permits to drill is just the start. It is unfortunate that on its first day in office, the new administration would implement policies that will slow Wyoming's economic recovery.  According to a recent University of Wyoming Study, the state stands to lose $300 million in tax revenue each year and more than 15,000 jobs annually through 2025 if this ban becomes a long term policy. PAW will work to protect the livelihoods of Wyoming's hard working men and women in the natural gas and oil industry using all legal means at our disposal."

Governor Gordon issued similar sentiments, saying that "The Department of Interior’s Secretarial Order temporarily suspending nearly all activities related to leasing and other activities of the Department of the Interior is unnecessary, punitive and contrary to President Biden’s pledge to unify our nation and get people back to work."

He continued, stating that, "At a time when we need to come together, this action only irritates wounds that have barely begun to heal."

Gordon stated that Wyoming and other Western states are especially impacted by decisions like this which, he says, just delays and makes harder for Wyomingites to get back to work, allowing Wyoming to expand its economy.

"Wyoming people should be concerned about this action because the revenue from development on public lands drives the funding for schools, healthcare and other key services," Gordon stated. "These types of federal actions threaten the ability of Wyoming’s energy industries to operate in a normal fashion and signal a larger threat to our state’s economic vitality."

"This is a disheartening start to the new Administration," the Governor concluded.

Another combatant of this order is Liz Cheney. Cheney, herself, has been in the political crosshairs lately but she, too, believes this order will have terrible consequences for Wyoming.

“This order from the Biden/Harris Administration is deeply misguided and would have severe ramifications in Wyoming," Cheney stated. "At a time when we need to be doing everything possible to support our energy producers and our economy, prohibiting BLM offices from leasing and permitting will negatively impact so many hard-working families who rely on the national treasures in our state to make a living."

Cheney said that she "will fight aggressively for the interests of our energy industry, and will stand with our partners in Wyoming to use all the tools at our disposal to challenge this senseless order and future ones like it."


Stay tuned to for further developments.


UP NEXT: 10 Facts About Wyoming That You May Not Know

More From Wake Up Wyoming