Energy News Roundup

Updated: Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

You can’t report the news without consuming news. Here is what we’re reading and listening to:

The biggest news on the national energy scene is President Joe Biden’s executive order to begin halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters. Biden characterized the move as a step forward for slowing climate change and an opportunity to create more jobs. (NPR)

Advocacy groups such as the American Petroleum Institute and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association both panned the order, saying that it would cost American jobs and worse for climate change. The Western Energy Alliance announced it was challenging the new moratorium in federal court in Wyoming. (Colorado Sun)

In fact, the American Petroleum Institute sent around text messages claiming without a source that the moratorium could risk $108 million in state revenue and urging people to write to their state representatives and oppose Biden’s executive order.

In southern Colorado, The Durango Herald reported that the temporary freeze on new oil and gas leases on public lands also froze the sale of 1,500 acres around the HD Mountains, east of Bayfield.

Brad Handler, senior fellow for public policy at the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines, told The Denver Post that the oil & gas industry is crying wolf, and many anticipated this when Biden promised it during the campaign and aggressively filed and received permits for new leases. Because of this, he estimated the effect of the moratorium would be small on industry giants.

In non-White House-related news:

High Country News reported the data behind the Big Breakdown of coal and its effect on Western states as well as on the Diné activists’ fight for an equitable transition for Navajo Nation.

The Colorado Sun’s Jason Blevins reported that Front Range water managers like Denver Water and Northern Water are joining up to tell Wall Street investors to look elsewhere for water rights after aNew York Times article ruffled some feathers.