DENVER -- Today, Western Energy Alliance urged Congress to reach an agreement on federal spending for Fiscal Year 2024 to avoid a government shutdown. The disruptions from a shutdown, however long, will have negative impacts on American energy production in the short-term while adding to the long-term uncertainty inherent in development on federal lands.
“The Biden Administration is already hostile to American oil and natural gas production; it doesn’t need another excuse to further block development on federal lands and waters. The handful of Republicans in Congress standing in the way of a deal basically want to stand with President Biden in owning some of the energy inflation caused by his administration’s efforts to slow walk oil and natural gas,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “The bureaucracy at the Interior Department already uses the least excuse for delaying and preventing approvals on federal lands and waters. A government shutdown is another excuse for bureaucrats not to do their jobs, but it also hands the political leadership a get-out-of-jail-free card. They will use the shutdown, however long, as a reason to further delay projects and leasing.
“Companies with active operations on federal lands must be in regular communication with Bureau of Land Management personnel to react to changing situations on the ground. When there’s nobody on the line at local field offices to answer a question or approve operational changes as they arise, companies cannot safely and effectively move forward with energy development,” added Sgamma. “We urge Congress to find a short-term solution to avoiding a shutdown as well as a long-term fix so that these disruptions don’t continue to happen every few years. Even the threat of a shutdown causes hiccups in the system and contributes to the chronic uncertainty that plagues production on federal lands.”
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