President Joe Biden’s climate train left the station as promised on Jan. 27, powered by the latest batch of executive orders. But is it on the right track? Many in the oil and gas industry say no.

“We share President Biden’s goal for addressing climate change,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said on a morning call with journalists. “Unfortunately, today’s executive order halting leasing is a step backwards for environmental progress and is nothing more than an ‘import more oil’ policy. That will weaken U.S. energy leadership, hamper the economic recovery and undermine national security.”

One of the orders directed the Department of the Interior to pause new oil and natural gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters while awaiting a comprehensive review of the federal oil and gas program. The department stressed in a statement that existing operations and permits for existing leases will not be affected, nor will it restrict operations on private or state lands.

However, where it does hit, the order has the potential to hit hard.

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