The top administrator at the Wyoming Department of Education says funding for public education in her state and several others has been eviscerated by the Biden Administration’s federal ban on oil and gas leases.
Superintendent Jillian Balow says she was taken aback by the swift orders executed by Acting U.S. Interior Secretary de le Vega after months of rhetoric around bringing unity to the nation, noting that Wyoming depends on some $150 million a year in oil and gas federal mineral royalties to fund K-12 schools.
“Shockingly, this move hurts the students in soon to be Interior Secretary Haaland’s home state of New Mexico substantially worse. A University of Wyoming study estimates that Wyoming and seven other top federal oil and gas producing states stand to lose hundreds of millions in revenue for their schools and governments due to this moratorium. There are also Native American reservations negatively impacted by this moratorium and speaking out,” said Balow.
“And on the heels of the worst economic year we’ve all experienced in modern history, it is unconscionable that Acting Interior Secretary de la Vega would now do this to our kids. I plan to call my counterparts in these most affected states of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota, Montana, California, and Alaska to discuss advocacy with the Acting Secretary and anticipated Interior Secretary to end the moratorium. I understand there may be further, similar orders coming in the near future that need to be stopped. I hope that K-12 advocates across both parties will join me in speaking out against de-funding our schools. Our students, teachers, and communities simply cannot afford this draconian executive order.”