Judge Blocks Biden Oil and Gas Lease Pause
A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and waters, it has emerged.
In a case filed on June 15, Terry A. Doughty, a district judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, restrained the administration from implementing the pause of new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and offshore waters as set forth in Section 208 of Executive Order 14008 back in January.
It was also ordered that the administration would be restrained from implementing the pause with respect to Lease Sale 257, Lease Sale 258, and all eligible onshore properties. The scope of this injunction is nationwide and will remain in effect, pending the final resolution of the case, or until further orders from the Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, or the United States Supreme Court, the judge outlined.
Commenting on the development, National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Erik Milito said, “the Biden administration should promptly fulfill its obligation to the American people and capitalize on an American environmental and emissions success story by immediately resuming Gulf of Mexico lease sales”.
“We stand ready to work with this administration to continue to produce American energy while protecting the environment and striving to meet the goals of the Paris Accord on climate change,” he added.
Milito noted that the Department of the Interior is required by law to expeditiously develop America’s energy resources, and this includes the obligation to schedule and hold offshore oil and gas lease sales.
“Today’s ruling simply confirms the legal requirements,” Milito said. “Any pause of American energy opportunities will do untold harm towards American economic, energy and environmental progress,” he added.
“As we emerge from the pandemic and move forward with economic growth, it is more important than ever that we seize the opportunity to produce oil and gas here in the U.S. to help avert potential inflationary risks and proactively ensure affordable energy for all walks of life, especially low income communities,” Milito went on to say.
Milito highlighted that the Gulf of Mexico provides “no shortage of benefits to the American people”. He outlined that offshore oil production in the region has the lowest carbon intensity of the oil producing regions, supports more than 345,000 jobs, and generates vital government revenues for conservation and recreation programs.
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