If U.S. President-elect Joe Biden tries to restrict development of oil and gas drilling on federal lands, the American Petroleum Institute (API) will use “every tool at its disposal” including a lawsuit against the federal government, chief executive Mike Sommers said in an interview with Reuters on Monday.
Biden has said he supports a ban on new gas and oil permits — including fracking — on federal lands.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technology that has allowed the U.S. oil industry to vastly boost output in recent years. Environmental groups oppose fracking because they say it pollutes groundwater and exacerbates climate change.
Sommers said the API looks forward to working with the incoming Biden administration on energy, but would “draw the line” if Biden implemented restrictions on lands that were “always meant for multi-use.”
“This would be a far reaching proposal that would undermine American natural and energy security to the detriment of the American people,” Sommers told Reuters.
“We would be very concerned about those kinds of proposals coming out of the Biden administration,” he added.
The oil industry group seeks to be involved in discussions on issues such as future federal regulation of methane emissions, according to Sommers.
Sommers said Biden “should want the people who know this issue best, in the oil and gas industry, at the table to discuss the right way to do this.”
Biden has pledged to reverse course on climate from President Donald Trump, who pulled the United States out of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate and dismantled Obama-era climate and environmental regulations.
Sommers said the API supports the fundamental tenets of the agreement and will work with the incoming administration as it transitions back into the Climate Accord.
“We support the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and provide for sustainable development and the reduction of poverty,” Sommers said.
He also said he sees a possibility of alliance with labor unions and biofuels groups on policies supporting the internal combustion engine. 29dk2902l