For Immediate Release    Alliance: Aaron Johnson, 303-515-1067
December 15, 2020    Blueprint Alaska: Sarah Erkmann Ward, (907) 441-1899

Biden Ban on Public Lands To Cost Economy
$670 Billion Over 20 years

Alaska among hardest hit by incoming president’s pledge to ban development

DENVER — A ban on oil and natural gas development on public lands by President-elect Joe Biden would severely harm the economies of eight western states, according to a Wyoming Energy Authority study conducted by University of Wyoming Professor Tim Considine. Over the next four years, the human cost of fulfilling Biden’s campaign pledge would be an average of 72,818 fewer jobs annually. Lost wages would total $19.6 billion, economic activity would decline $43.8 billion, and tax revenues would drop $10.8 billion by the end of Biden’s first term in Alaska, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. By 2040, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would decline by $670.5 billion and average annual job losses would exceed 351,000 across the West.

The following are comments from Western Energy Alliance and the Alaska Oil and Gas Association in response to the report.

“President-elect Biden has had to face the reality that he can’t ban fracking nationwide, so he’s pledged to ban leasing and fracking on federal lands. A Biden ban would be devastating to the economies of western states by eliminating thousands of jobs just as Americans are struggling to recover from the pandemic,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance. “He’s calculating that he won’t pay a political price while satisfying radical climate activists, but he would be sacrificing the livelihoods of thousands of westerners throughout many sectors of the economy. We hope this report convinces him not to inflict economic pain on westerners. If he makes good on a Biden ban, the Alliance will be in court within hours.”

“Oil and gas fuels Alaska’s economy, both in revenues to state and local governments, and jobs for thousands of Alaskans,” said Kara Moriarty Alaska Oil and Gas Association president and CEO. “Fracking has been conducted safely and without incident in Alaska for more than 50 years. No one knows how to develop the state’s abundant oil and gas resources better than Alaskans, who demand the strictest environmental and safety practices from its operators. Banning fracking in Alaska would deal a harsh blow to our already struggling economy while making no tangible impact on the environment. We are hopeful this kind of rhetoric will be replaced with a practical, sensible conversation among all stakeholders.”

Alaska, which ranks eighth in both oil and natural gas production on public lands, would lose $226.4 billion in GDP over the next 20 years. Between 2021 and 2024, a drilling ban would eliminate:

Across the eight states that together provide over 97 percent of federal onshore production, closing off public lands over the next 20 years would result in:

The report entitled, “The Fiscal and Economic Impacts of Federal Onshore Leasing and Drilling Bans,” analyzes the economic impacts of two potential scenarios: a leasing moratorium and a ban on approving drilling permits. The full report is available online.

# # #

About Western Energy Alliance

Western Energy Alliance represents 200 companies engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West. Alliance members are independents, the majority of which are small businesses with an average of fourteen employees. Learn more at


About the Alaska Oil and Gas Association

AOGA is a professional trade association whose mission is to foster the long-term viability of the oil and gas industry in Alaska for the benefit of all Alaskans. More information about the organization can be found at, on Facebook (AlaskaOilAndGas), Twitter (@AOGA), and Instagram (@alaskaoilgasassociation).