Plumes smoke rise from the Chevron Salt Lake Refinery in North Salt Lake on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

Utah, like other fossil fuel rich states, has been listening to the words of President Joe Biden when it comes to energy development with some wariness and incredulity.

The president has made clear he fully embraces green energy while at the same time making hostile comments — threats even — aimed at fossil fuels, including his promise to shutter all coal-fired power plants and an eventual end to domestic oil and gas leasing under federal purview.

At the same time, even as the industry is locked in a battle with him, clean energy advocates in some corners say he is not moving quickly enough to transition away from fossil fuels and is instead bowing to the pressure of oil and gas producers.

A president in quandary over green energy

Biden made the threat to cease all domestic oil and gas production, something he simply can’t accomplish — although he might make it tougher in a regulatory sense, said Rikki Hrenko-Browning, president of the Utah Petroleum Association.

She pointed out that in Utah, there is robust oil and gas production on state lands and lands controlled by Native American tribes — something beyond presidential reach. And in North Dakota, which contains only 3% federally-controlled land, those rigs are also outside his purview. Utah has seen some dramatic shifts, in fact, away from drilling on federal public lands because of the regulatory uncertainty.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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