Federal Judge Sides With BLM In 2021 Oil And Gas Lease Pause

A federal judge in Wyoming affirmed the Biden administration’s authority to not hold oil and gas lease sales in early 2021.

Judge Scott Skavdahl further found that industry groups lacked standing to challenge those lease sale postponements.

The Wyoming court rejected across the board the arguments by industry and Wyoming, and found that BLM acted well within its legal authority in postponing lease sales in order to ensure that it fully considered the environmental harms they could cause.

The court recognized that authority and properly upheld the postponements.

In early 2021, the Biden administration issued an executive order aimed at tackling the climate crisis, which directed the Department of the Interior to temporarily pause new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and offshore waters.

The pause was meant to provide the federal government an opportunity to undertake a systematic review of its oil and gas program and consider how to address its climate impacts.

In June 2021, Judge Terry Doughty of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Department of Interior from moving forward with a moratorium under President Biden’s order, while noting that the government could still postpone sales based on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other concerns.

On August 18, Judge Doughty permanently blocked the leasing pause in the thirteen states that had sued over the order in Louisiana District Court.

That decision came one day after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the preliminary injunction, finding that it lacked “specificity” and focused on an executive action that had not yet been finalized.

The oil and gas leasing pause has been the target of five lawsuits filed across Republican-led states, including the suit brought by the state of Wyoming, which was consolidated with a separate suit from the Western Energy Alliance (WEA). Earthjustice and the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) intervened on behalf of 21 groups in Wyoming to defend the lease sale postponements and leasing pause.



7 Comments

  1. So, decisions about such an important issue for Wyoming are being made by an Obama appointed federal judge. Gee, what could POSSIBLY go wrong with that?

    • OH COME ON CHARLES!!! There is NO political bias in judges, regardless of who appointed them. Can you say “Roe vs Wade”

        • By George I believe that was exactly my point… Charley only sees things his narrow way. I wanted to point out that judicial bias infects the so-called conservative side too.

    • nothing at all nothing to see here….. what money? who? ….. thats all I hear that and 20 dollars a gallon for gas… and somehow biden isnt scraping off the top not at all… nope

  2. Gee, an obama appointee. Im sure theres NO political motivation there! FACTS: biden and granholm have stated numerous times that their goal is to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. Biden wants everyone to be driving an EV by 2030 as per build back better and the WEFs great reset. If youre unable to afford an EV, or if supply doesnt keep up with demand, you will just have to do without. Dont worry about the rolling brown outs, or a lottery system in order to charge your EV, because its for the greener good!

  3. It sure didn’t take long for the whiny flat earthers to get in on this thread.Too bad y’all will be leaving nothing but a wasteland for your descendants.

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