School Superintendents Pen Letter to Biden on Oil and Gas Bans
School officials from multiple states are calling on President Joe Biden to reverse his ban on oil and gas leases on federal lands. Montana's Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen (R-MT), signed on to a letter along with public school representatives in Wyoming, North Dakota, Utah, and Alaska.
Here's how Montana and Wyoming would be impacted by a ban on oil and gas drilling, according to their letter:
- In Wyoming, the oil and natural gas industry contributed $740 million in funding for K-12 education and $28 million to Wyoming’s higher education system in 2019. 92% of all natural gas and 51% of oil produced in Wyoming comes from federal lands. The ban translates into the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars for education and 13,300 direct jobs in a state of 500,000.
- In Montana, $30 million in revenue is at-risk, along with over 3,000 jobs.
SweetwaterNow.com published the full letter to President Biden. Click here to read it in full.
It should be noted that Biden's moratorium on new oil and gas leases is on top of his decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline, which also threatens school funding in Montana. The Keystone pipeline was anticipated to bring in anywhere from $50 to $100 million every year into Montana, with a chunk of that money being dedicated to public schools.
PRIOR Report from Feb 7, 2021: TESTER VOTES FOR, THEN AGAINST KEYSTONE PIPELINE
We had one caller into our radio show on Friday morning who was really pleased to hear that Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) had voted in support of the Keystone Pipeline. Finally some hope that bipartisan achievement could actually deliver something for the American people, she said.
I appreciated where she was coming from, and felt bad for throwing cold water on the Friday a.m. vote. But I told her if Tester really wanted to block Biden's efforts to block the Keystone Pipeline, he could stop it- especially in a 50-50 US Senate. His vote would be nothing more than purely symbolic, especially since the Democrat-run House is unlikely to support the Keystone Pipeline.
Turns out even Tester's symbolic support of the Keystone Pipeline didn't last long. Later that same morning, Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) refused to include the Keystone Pipeline measure into the final package, with Tester's support.
As The Washington Times reports:
After voting for the measure to support the pipeline, Sens. Joe Manchin and Jon Tester voted against it, joining the rest of the Democratic caucus early Friday in passing an amendment by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer to strip the Keystone XL language from the budget resolution.
What frustrated supporters is that a vote from either Mr. Manchin or Mr. Tester would have saved the Keystone amendment, sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines, Montana Republican, aimed at boosting legislation to authorize the pipeline after President Biden killed it on his first day in office.
Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) called out both Democrat Senators for voting against the Keystone Pipeline. Here's one of the tweets from Sen. Daines Friday AM:
The Daily Signal has more:
Daines tweeted that Manchin and Tester “chose to stand with Green New Deal radicals over American jobs & blue-collar workers. They chose to stand against tax revenue for counties & low energy costs for families. Montanans & the American people will know where they stand. But also know this, I won’t stop fighting.”
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