Restrictions to oil drilling on Federal lands threatens future of oil industry


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Since taking the Oath of Office less than two weeks ago, President Biden has signed multiple Executive Orders designed to combat Climate Change.

Owner of Abilene based Enrich Oil Corporation, Allan Frizzell is concerned about what these changes could mean for oil industry jobs in the state of Texas and across the country.

“In the oil industry the job loss is going to be tremendous. The basic structure underneath our economy is cheap energy. Oil and gas, other forms, nuclear, and if he eliminates the oil and gas, and hydrocarbon part of it, our economy is just going to suffer not only job-wise, but availability,” said Frizzell.

Frizzell says the restrictions of drilling on public land and water will not negatively impact Texas as much as other states, because in Texas most oil drilling is done on private land.

However, he says one thing that will hurt oil companies in Texas, is the possible elimination of tax subsidies for oil drilling.

“That will affect us tremendously, because this is a risky business. There’s a lot of risk involved in looking for oil and gas. Without some relief tax-wise from those costs, that would bring drilling around here to a stand still,” said Frizzell.

One of the executive orders shut down production of the Keystone XL Pipeline. According to Frizzell, that might not be the worst thing for oil companies in Texas.

“It’s probably better for us in Texas, because our oil won’t have to compete with that oil coming from Canada,” said Frizzell.

Frizzell says these changes to the oil industry could have a negative impact on gas prices.

“If all of these executive orders against oil and gas result in a decline in oil and gas production, then we’ll be importing more, and if they want to raise the price our gas prices will go up,” said Frizzell.

In a recent address, President Biden said “We’ve waited too long to deal with the climate crisis.” He then discussed the role his executive orders could play in transitioning the United States away from oil and gas, to forms of energy like solar and wind.

Frizzell says he is not optimistic about the transition to solar and wind energy.

“I don’t see the transition in the next four years or anytime. It’s going to take a while to make that transition into electric vehicles and all of that,” said Frizzell.

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