Texas Democrats in a letter Wednesday blasted President Joe Biden for issuing executive orders that could cost Texans thousands of jobs.
A delegation of four Democrats, including Reps. Vicente Gonzalez, Henry Cuellar, Lizzie Fletcher, and Marc Veasey, sent the letter to the Biden administration in a last-ditch attempt to halt the White House's overreach on environmental regulation. The Democrats said that if Biden moves forward with a campaign pledge to prohibit new energy leases on federal land, it "will certainly imperil hundreds of thousands of jobs" across the American Southwest.
Despite the plea from some members of his party, Biden issued an executive order Wednesday blocking the Department of the Interior from issuing new oil and gas leases on federal property. The four lawmakers said such a move would be "devastating" for their regional economies.
"As the United States works to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 400,000 Americans and destroyed the livelihoods of many more, now is not the time to jeopardize American jobs, or the critical tax and royalty revenues that federal leases generate for local, state, and federal government that need funds now," the lawmakers said.
The letter is the first sign of pushback from Biden's party during a flurry of executive orders that have reversed Trump-era policy on issues ranging from climate change to national security. Among his first actions in office, Biden blocked the completion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, killing more than 10,000 jobs. On Wednesday, Biden also established the White House office for climate policy. Climate envoy John Kerry has targeted a major climate agreement with China during the first weeks of the Biden administration.