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Fourteen U.S. states sue Biden administration over oil and gas leasing pause


Mar 24, 2021
(Bloomberg) More than a dozen Republican-led states sued the Biden administration over a climate change initiative they claim would effectively ban oil and gas leases on federal land.President Joe Biden’s Jan. 27 executive order entitled Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad violates federal law by sidestepping honest debate on whether the “speculative” benefits of the plan outweigh the financial cost to states, Wyoming said in a complaint filed Wednesday in federal court. A similar suit was filed separately by more than a dozen states led by Louisiana.“This moratorium might make for a nice headline about fighting climate change, but the real consequences of the action are far from certain and far from uniformly environmentally friendly,” Wyoming said in the lawsuit.

The state’s governor, Mark Gordon, added in a statement that Biden’s policy won’t reduce climate change because “production will simply shift to other countries with less stringent emissions standards.”

Biden’s executive order is an “aggressive, reckless abuse of Presidential power,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, whose suit was joined by other energy-producing states including Texas and Alaska.

“By executive fiat, Joe Biden and his administration have single-handedly driven the price of energy up — costing the American people where it hurts most, in their pocketbooks,” Landry said in a statement.

The suit also named Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who implemented the order. An Interior Department spokesperson didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

The states allege the Biden plan violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the Mineral Leasing Act, among others. They seek a court order requiring the Bureau of Land Management to resume quarterly oil and gas lease sales.



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