Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico 2021-06-16 08:30:26 –

“We are considering the judge’s opinion and will comply with the decision,” a statement from the Interior Ministry sent by email by Communications Director Melissa Schwartz said. “The Home Office continues to work on an interim report that includes the initial findings on the state of the federal traditional energy program, the next step for the Home Office and Congress to improve public land and water management and create jobs. And outlines the recommendations, and builds a fair and equitable energy future. “

The moratorium was imposed after Biden signed an executive order to combat climate change on January 27. The proceedings were filed in March. The Home Office then canceled oil and gas leasing from public land until June, affecting Nevada, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and the eastern part of the bureau.

Biden’s order included asking interior authorities to consider whether the leasing program would unfairly benefit companies at the expense of taxpayers and the impact of the program on climate change.

The thirteen accused states said the moratorium would sacrifice state money and work, bypassing the government’s comment period and other bureaucratic measures required before such delays took place. Doughty heard a debate last week in the case at Lafayette.

Federal lawyers argued that the notice and comment period did not apply to suspensions, the sale of leases was not required by law, and the Secretary of the Interior had broad discretion in leasing decisions.

“Existing leases have not been revoked as a result of the actions challenged here, and development activities from exploration to drilling and production have continued at the same level as in the last four years,” an executive lawyer said. Insisted on.

However, Doughty supported plaintiffs’ state lawyers, arguing that delays in new lease costs indicate income from rent and royalties.

“Millions of dollars, and in some cases billions of dollars, are at stake,” wrote Dorty, who was nominated as a federal parliamentarian by President Donald Trump in 2017.

“Local government funding, jobs for plaintiff state workers, and funding for the restoration of the Louisiana coastline are at stake,” he added, oil paying for Louisiana’s efforts to restore coastal marshes. And hinted at the possibility of loss of gas income.

“This is great news for Louisiana workers whose livelihoods are threatened by the administration’s careless energy policy,” US Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican Party, said in a statement.

However, not everyone supported the judge’s decision.

“The judge’s orders turn a blind eye to the runaway climate pollution that is devastating our planet,” said Randy Spivak, director of the biodiversity center’s public land program. “We will continue to fight the fossil fuel industry and the politicians acquired by them.

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia are other plaintiffs.

“This is not just the rule of law, but a victory for thousands of workers who produce affordable energy for Americans,” Laundry said in a statement released shortly after the ruling.


Matt Brown, Associated Press Reporter in Billings, Montana, contributed to this report.

Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases Source link Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases

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