The Ohio State Senate this week passed a bill deeming natural gas a form of “green energy” and eased the leasing of state lands by fossil-fuel companies.
Sponsored by state Representative J. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield), the measure’s main feature is an unrelated agricultural policy reducing the minimum number of poultry chicks that can be sold or transferred in Ohio from six to three. Lawmakers embraced that change based on the advice of the poultry industry and that of adults supervising children in 4-H agriculture programs who want to make smaller purchases for their farm projects.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended sustainable investing practices and climate change policies that have negatively impacted U.S. oil and gas drilling in an interview Friday.
“I don’t think that the ESG movement and the emphasis on climate change is creating the problems that we have,” Yellen told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday morning when asked if investors need to rethink their stance on fossil fuels. “If anything, the problem is that we haven’t moved as rapidly as we should have.”
Republicans in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives this week introduced several measures to boost fossil-fuel production in the Keystone State, including a resumption of new state-land drilling leases.
Gov. Tom Wolf (D) imposed a moratorium on new leases for oil and gas development on state-owned areas in January 2015. A bill authored by State Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Wellsboro) would rescind that order and stipulate that all energy exploration performed under any resulting leases be subsurface. That means that the well site must be built off of commonwealth property and that underground channels would reach horizontally into the public lands, allowing for better environmental preservation than older drilling methods.
President Joe Biden is reportedly set to temporarily halt new federal oil and gas leasing, people familiar with his plans told The Washington Post.
The move would pause pending fossil fuel auctions on federal land and water, but will not affect existing leases in the Gulf Coast and the western part of the country, according to the Post. While the moratorium will help Biden deliver on one of his signature campaign promises, it will likely be met with sharp resistance from fossil fuel industries and lawmakers who have voiced concern that Biden’s climate policies will cost thousands of jobs.