BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards testified in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Thursday on Capitol Hill.

Edwards says the state is “unquestionably impacted by the federal policies regarding oil and gas production” and asks that the pause on new oil and gas leases be lifted.

The Biden administration placed a moratorium on new federal oil and gas leases to combat climate change.

In his testimony, Edwards pushed for two goals. “First resumed Gulf leasing for the exploration of oil and gas by the third quarter of this year. And number two, to increase the revenue coming from gas production,” Edwards says.

Michael Moncla, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, says they are looking forward to reopening the oil and gas industry. He is glad Edwards has a similar conviction. “He understands the importance of the oil and gas industry to our state,” Moncla says.

Despite the push for cleaner energy, Moncla says oil and gas will remain in demand. “We’re going to have green energy out there, renewable energy out there, but we’re going to continue. we’ll have to fuel our country,” Moncla says.

But that’s not to say the industry is not changing. Moncla says, “the oil and gas industry is not against renewables… our emissions have gotten better. There’s all kinds of ways that we can continue to improve.”

The debate over transitioning to clean energy is centered around the idea that it requires more skilled workers and may result in those currently in the industry not being qualified for the job.

Moncla emphasizes the world is currently dependent on oil and gas and the byproducts it creates, “we’re going to be using gasoline for a long time,” so people can expect to continue working.

“People in the oil and gas industry are going to continue providing consumers with the cheapest liquid on earth.” Moncla says.