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Federal Judge Stops Biden Administration Blocking New Oil and Gas Leases

A federal judge in Louisiana has issued a temporary injunction to prevent the Biden administration from suspending new oil and gas leases on federal land.

Judge Terry A. Dauty of the US District Court in Monroe said the government had no legal right to suspend the lease of federal territory for oil and gas production without Congressional approval.

A judge appointed by former President Donald Trump has also sued the federal government (mainly southern and coastal states) to suspend lease bids and bonuses from oil and gas prospectors. He said he would soon be harmed because he couldn’t.

The lawsuit was filed by Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

In the week following his inauguration, Biden instructed the Interior Ministry to suspend the program in several new initiatives aimed at addressing climate change.

The Interior Ministry said it would follow Tuesday’s orders, but said it would continue to review current leasing and permitting practices. Mr Biden requested that evaluation as part of his January order to suspend the federal oil and gas program.

“We are considering the judge’s opinion,” said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. Future reports will include the initial findings on the state of the federal conventional energy program to balance the benefits of the environment, employment and energy development, outlining the next steps and recommendations. Will be done. ”

The proceedings were filed by the state in March, calling on judges to immediately revoke the Biden Directive, which is pending court debate.

Judge Doughty agreed with the state’s request to revoke the suspension in a court ruling on page 44 on Tuesday. He quoted federal law stating that government agencies are required to sell oil and gas leases.

He added that the state would face “irreparable injuries” if the suspension continued due to the loss of money from new lease sales that the state was legally entitled to share with the government. Drilling federal land and water brought government revenues to about $ 6 billion last year.

“Millions of dollars, and in some cases billions of dollars, are at stake,” the judge wrote in his decision. “Local government funding, [workers in the states that sued], And funding for the restoration of the Louisiana coastline is at stake. “

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“Millions of dollars, and in some cases billions of dollars, are at stake.”


— Judge Terry A. Dauty

Mr Biden said countries need to urgently move from oil to cleaner fuels if the world could avoid the worst effects of climate change. Drilling on federal land accounts for about 9% of US onshore production, but Biden is looking for ways for the government to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions, as well as in other countries. It sets an example for doing things.

Government officials said they would allow oil and gas companies to continue working on existing leasing to mitigate the impact of the transition to those companies.

The administration has adhered to previous leasing and environmental assessments that approved major oil, gas and mining projects to come, even in recent weeks defending some of these decisions by the previous administration.

Write to Timothy Puko (tim.puko@wsj.com) and Katy Stech Ferek (katherine.stech@wsj.com)

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Federal Judge Stops Biden Administration Blocking New Oil and Gas Leases

Source link Federal Judge Stops Biden Administration Blocking New Oil and Gas Leases

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