Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement after the Biden Administration removed a plan by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose a discretionary redesignation of the Permian Basin, the nation’s most prolific oil field, in its latest semiannual regulatory agenda. If allowed to proceed, the EPA’s actions in the Permian Basin could result in draconian regulations that would directly interfere with 40% of all oil produced in the United States.
“The Permian Basin is the crown jewel of Texas’ mighty oil and gas industry, and the State of Texas will do whatever it takes to protect its production and the hundreds of thousands of good-paying energy jobs in our state,” said Governor Abbott. “While it is encouraging news that the Biden Administration has backed down on this disastrous plan, Texas remains ready to fight any job-killing attacks on our critical oil and gas industry. Texas is–and always will be–a pro-energy state, and we will keep a watchful eye for any potential changes or attacks by President Biden that could jeopardize affordable energy prices and the livelihoods of hardworking Texans.”
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, Permian Basin producers in Texas and New Mexico are responsible for 5.2 million barrels of oil per day, which can be processed into about 95 million gallons of gasoline a day. In a letter sent to President Joe Biden about the proposed plan last July, Governor Abbott pointed out that not only would the EPA’s redesignation process lead to higher gas prices for Americans by disrupting roughly a quarter of the U.S. oil supply, but it would put hundreds of thousands of good-paying energy jobs at risk. The Texas oil and gas industry directly employs more than 422,000 Texans and supports 1.37 million Texas jobs. The Governor also noted that if the EPA’s proposed redesignation was not suspended, the State of Texas would take action necessary to protect the production of oil. Governor Abbott kept up the pressure on the Biden Administration’s ongoing attack on the Permian Basin, sending another letter last August outlining the flawed logic and data employed to proceed with their stated goal of ending fossil fuels.
In January 2021, one week after President Biden was sworn in, Governor Abbott issued an executive order to protect Texas’ energy industry from federal overreach following a roundtable in Odessa with energy workers, leaders, and advocates. The executive order directed every state agency to use all lawful powers and tools to challenge any federal action that threatens the continued strength and independence of the energy industry.