Governor, PAW issue statements on order temporarily halting approval of new federal oil, gas leases

(Cheyenne, WY) – Governor Mark Gordon has issued the following statement today, January 21st addressing an order from the Department of the Interior suspending for 60 days approval of new oil and gas leases, along with key agency, regulatory and development actions. 

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

Wyoming and other western states are particularly affected by sweeping orders like this. It only delays the ability to get more people back to work and interferes with Wyoming’s ability to expand its economy. All 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.


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 Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW) also released the following statement today in regard to the temporary suspension:

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.

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