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Biden oil and gas lease ban on federal lands and waters

SHAKIRA JACKSON

Philadelphia

My name is Shakira Jackson, and I’m a student at the University of Pittsburgh. I’m also an environmentalist and activist for liberty.

I am very worried about President Joe Biden’s ban on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States has achieved energy independence for the first time since 1952. This is essential because it means we don’t have to rely on countries with fewer environmental or human rights standards for energy. However, with President Biden’s order, that could be reversed.

Royalties collected on offshore oil and gas leases help fund critical environmental projects through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This fund maintains federal public lands and waters–including funding for our national parks. The National Park Service (NPS) already has a $12 billion maintenance backlog. The Great American Outdoors Act will help this, but it only provides half of the funds needed.

It shouldn’t be harder to fund projects that protect our nation’s environment. While banning oil and gas leases may seem environmentally friendly, it will increase our reliance on big polluters abroad. As a young person, I wish we would do better for our environment and reverse this ban.

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