Erin Beu | KOCO News 5
Nine days until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, and oil executives in Oklahoma are making plans for what they say will be a tough era.
Biden promised a carbon-neutral nation by 2050. KOCO 5 asked executives how they’re feeling.
“Get rid of the oil and gas companies? Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma?” President Donald Trump said during one of the presidential debates.
That comment during the heated debate between Trump and Biden sparked some interest among Oklahomans.
“The oil industry pollutes scientifically,” Biden said during the debate.
Biden further explained he wanted to move away from fossil fuels and rely on green energy.
Dewey Bartlett, with the Oklahoma Energy Producer Alliance, said regardless of his political beliefs, he panicked when he heard Biden say he plans to move away from fossil fuels.
“We’ll be having problems. Everyone will be having problems,” Bartlett said. “That would not only devastate Oklahoma, that would devastate the entire country.”
According to ABC News, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years. Biden wants to end new drilling on those same lands as part of his overhaul of how Americans get energy.
“He wanted to not allow any more drilling on federal lands, on public lands,” Bartlett said.
But that’s not happening in Oklahoma because the oil and gas companies don’t operate on too many federal lands. Instead, Bartlett said they feel like sitting ducks, waiting to find out what types of regulations Biden might put into place.