Gov. Abbott Signs His Own 'Executive Order,' Vows to Fight & Sue Biden Admin’s Attack on Texas' Oil & Gas Employees, Economy

Gov. Abbott calls President Biden's Energy Plan a 'Hostile Attack' Attack on Texas: "We will not sit idly by..."

AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wasted no time before signing an "Executive Order" of his own last Thursday, countering the Executive Orders President Joe Biden signed on Wednesday declaring "Climate Change" a "National Security Concern," and reversing years of the U.S. Energy Independence progress made by President Donald Trump during his administration.

Abbott vowed to fight the Biden Administration’s developing Climate Change Agenda, calling it a direct threat to the state’s energy sector – as well as to the livelihood of those long-employed in the industry:
“Texas is going to protect the Oil & Gas Industry from any type of hostile attack launched from Washington, D.C.

"Texas is a pro-energy state, and we will not sit idly by and allow the Biden Administration or local governments to destroy jobs and raise energy costs for Texas families," Abbott said during a press conference held in Odessa, Texas, shortly after a roundtable meeting Thursday with industry leaders.

“It’s wrong for a president or anybody else to act like their job can be ended today, and they can just be retrained to do some other job. That’s just not how real life works,” Abbott said.

"My executive order will help ensure that the federal government cannot take away the livelihoods of Texans who work so hard to provide our state and our nation with the energy we need."

The governor's Executive Order directs every State Goverment Agency in Texas to immediately begin looking for instances of federal overreach, and:
"...use all lawful powers and tools to challenge any federal action that threatens the continued strength, vitality, and independence of the energy industry.”

Under the order, agencies are directed to identify potential litigation, notice-and-comment opportunities, and any other means to prevent federal overreach within the law.

Abbott said he will also push legislation during the current Legislative Session in Austin to ban cities and counties from prohibiting consumer use of natural gas appliances.

Some Democratic-led cities in other states have moved to regulate gas appliances in new buildings.

President Biden made clear throughout his 2020 campaign – as did Congressional Democrats – that he would make climate change a central issue of his administration, with a goal of moving the energy sector away from fossil fuels by 2035 by implementing a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal lands, "Banning Fracking," and various other measures.

After Texas and many other states were forced to shut their down their economies in mid-March of 2020, wells began closing across the nation, drilling rigs stopped operating, and 10s of 1,000s of workers were immediately laid off.

Texas' oil output fell in March 2020 by an estimated 235,000 barrels a day, the largest monthly decline ever recorded, according to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. The organization also reported last July that the industry had, in fact, been struggling before March. From December 2018 to June 2020, direct upstream oil and gas employment in Texas fell by nearly 30%.
  • Despite the industry’s major losses in fiscal year 2020, it still paid $13.9 billion in State & Local Taxes and state royalties – the equivalent of $38 million a day.
  • The funds directly support teachers, schools, roads, infrastructure, and essential services.
  • The Texas Oil & Gas Industry paid over $2 billion directly to Texas' School Districts, with over $688 million being paid directly to Texas Counties in the form of property taxes.
  • It also contributed $1.6 billion to the state’s Rainy Day Fund, and
    • employed over 400,000 Texans
    • with an average salary of $128,000.
Biden’s transition comes at a particularly fraught moment for the oil and gas industry, still reeling from the economic fallout of the CoronaVirus pandemic.

Texas lost nearly 60,000 industry jobs in the early months of the crisis and had about 150,000 left as of the fall, according to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.
“Through June 2020, direct upstream oil and gas employment has fallen in Texas by over 66,000 jobs since December 2018, a decline of nearly 30%,” said the Texas Alliance's Karr Ingham (right,) in July 2020.

“Incredibly, over 41,000 of those losses have come since February of this year, and over 25,000 jobs were shed by the industry in the month of April alone – easily the largest one-month industry employment decline on record, more than doubling the previous record,” Ingham said.
Industry leaders have raised concerns that producers won’t be able to afford any of the moves now bing implemented by Democrat Joe Biden's Administration toward tougher environmental regulations, and Abbott said it’s unfair to expect workers to seamlessly transition to clean energy jobs, as the Biden administration suggests.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who is leading the president’s climate change agenda, said recently that oil and gas workers have been fed a “false narrative” about the Biden Administration's efforts to address climate change.
“The fastest growing job in the United States before COVID was solar power technician,” Kerry said, adding,

“The same people can do those jobs, but the choice of doing the solar power one is a better choice.”

But Gov. Abbott and others say the reality for workers is less certain.

During the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee's Confirmation Hearing of Joe Biden's Energy Secretary nominee, former Michagan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (below,) last week, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso noted some state-by-state numbers of American jobs that will be lost as a result of the president's flury of climate-inspired "Executive Actions."
"A long-term ban on Oil & Gas Leasing is going to cost about:
  • 62,000 jobs in New Mexico, about
  • 33,000 jobs in Wyoming, and
  • 18,000 jobs in Colorado.
  • "A 'long-term ban' is going to cut revenues in New Mexico & Wyoming by 100s of millions of dollars – which they use for K-12 Education and other essential services.
"So I'm just curious," asked Barrasso, "how is a 'long-term ban' consistent with the president's goal of 'unifying our country' and 'putting Americans back to work,' or even helping our economy grow? How is all that all consistent?"

President Biden is paying “homage to his radical environmental supporters who’ve fought the pipeline development for years, and not only canceled the project’s permits but elevated 'climate change' to a national security level,” noted Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley on Jan. 30th.

In the process, Biden’s team said “goodbye to private sector development projects, and hello government takeover of yet another huge economic sector” of the U.S. economy, Chumley noted.