Land Office Launches Texas Defense Task Force

Newly formed task force to focus on fighting federal overreach, preserving Texas energy independence

Contact: Matt Atwood, Press Secretary - Texas General Land Office
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PRESS RELEASE — Feb 08, 2021

AUSTIN — Today, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced the formation of the Texas Defense Task Force within the General Land Office with the mission to identify federal overreach and fend off threats to the Texas oil and gas economy.

The move comes less than two weeks after Governor Abbott's order for state agencies to begin preparing to protect Texas' energy industry from the crippling effects of federal overreach seen in the first weeks of the Biden Administration. As the oldest agency in the state, the General Land Office has a constitutional duty to protect and defend Texas's public and the mineral-rich lands set aside for Texas's school children.

"Texans have a deep-rooted history of defending our livelihoods, and we have every intention to carry on this proud tradition. The unprecedented pace at which the Biden Administration is attempting to wipe out jobs through executive orders will be met with the full force of the law," said Land Commissioner George P. Bush. "The Texas Defense Task Force is prepared to aggressively pursue every legal avenue to slow down and stop this alarming onslaught of executive orders and defend the hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and our economy at large."

The Texas Defense Task Force will be led by Commissioner Bush and will partner with other private entities to pose legal challenges to the Biden Administration's policies that directly impact Texas. The Biden administration is already responsible for a record-setting 45 executive orders, actions, and memorandums that include halting construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, and pausing new leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands.

A recent analysis shows that nearly 120,000 Texas jobs are at stake by 2022 should the ban be made permanent. The oil and gas economy is fundamental to Texans' independent way of life and is critical to our state's success. Commissioner Bush has drawn a line in the sand, with a series of lawsuits to be announced in coming weeks.  



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