LAFAYETTE — President Joe Biden has signed into place a sixty day moratorium which would suspend new drilling permits on U.S. land and waters in hopes to determine any impact on the environment.
Environmental organizer for the Sierra Club Darryl Malek-Wiley tells us, "The moratorium effort, along with a number of others, are to take real action on reducing United States greenhouse gas and the impact on climate change."
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, oil and gas extracted from public lands and waters account for about twenty five percent of U.S. production annually. The process of removing and burning those fuels generates almost 550 million tons of greenhouse gases every year.
While Biden's administration had pledged to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, most businesses connected to large oil industries will face potential job loss.
"When oil and gas is penalized in America, when federal lands and waters are taken off the table in America, the larger companies can go to another state, or on private land, or another country," says CEO and President of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Stephen Waguespack. "But those Louisiana, mom and pop, homegrown entrepreneurs, serviced based economy...we're the ones that are stuck."
But others say that the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy will create more jobs here in Louisiana.
"I think Louisiana needs to think about steps towards the future...I know that some companies in the Houma area have already gotten contracts to build boats to handle installing wind generators," says Wiley. "If we push wind generation off of the coast of Louisiana, we will be creating thousands of jobs, so those are the types of growth industries that we need to be educating people in Louisiana to take."
President Biden's full press conference can be viewed below:
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