Governor Abbott Issues Letter To President Biden On EPA Plan That Threatens Oil And Gas Production In Permian Basin

June 27, 2022 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to President Joe Biden on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan that could jeopardize a quarter of the nation’s gas supply. The EPA recently announced it may impose a discretionary re-designation of the Permian Basin, which accounts for approximately 40% of all oil produced in the U.S. If allowed to proceed, the EPA’s actions in the Permian Basin could result in draconian regulations that would directly interfere with the nation’s most prolific oil field.

“While you express concern about out-of-control gas prices, your Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is threatening to increase them even further,” reads the letter. “The EPA’s process could interfere in the production of oil in Texas which could lead to skyrocketing prices at the pump by reducing production, increase the cost of that production, or do both. Your administration's announced action is completely discretionary. Thus, you have the power to stop it. If you do not, this action alone might serve as a catalyst for economic harm leading to an even deeper reliance on imported foreign energy and a faster economic decline into the pending recession by forcing even more pain for American consumers to pay at the pump.”

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, Permian Basin producers in Texas and New Mexico are responsible for 5.2 million barrels of oil per day, which can be processed into about 95 million gallons of gasoline a day. The letter points out that not only would the EPA’s re-designation process lead to higher gas prices for Americans by disrupting roughly 25% of the U.S. oil supply, but it puts at risk hundreds of thousands of good-paying energy jobs. The Texas oil and gas industry directly employs more than 422,000 Texans and supports 1.37 million total direct and indirect Texas jobs.

Governor Abbott's letter also requests a response from the Biden Administration by July 29, 2022. If the EPA's proposed re-designation is not suspended, the State of Texas will take action necessary to protect the production of oil.

A week after President Biden was sworn in last January, Governor Abbott issued an executive order to protect Texas’ energy industry from federal overreach following a roundtable in Odessa with energy workers, leaders, and advocates. The executive order directed every state agency to use all lawful powers and tools to challenge any federal action that threatens the continued strength and independence of the energy industry.

Read the full letter to President Biden.