Already at least two press releases have been sent out of the AG’s office saying how wonderful the ruling blocking the sale of oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska is. The AG is standing up for Louisiana.
The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday by a federal judge in Louisiana, who ordered that plans be resumed for lease sales that were delayed for the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. Doughty’s ruling granting a preliminary injunction to those states said his order applies nationwide. The 13 states said the administration bypassed comment periods and other bureaucratic steps required before such delays can be undertaken. Doughty heard arguments in the case last week in Lafayette. The moratorium was imposed after Democratic President Joe Biden on Jan. 27 signed executive orders to fight climate change. The suit was filed in March. The states opposing the suspension said it was undertaken without the required comment periods and other bureaucratic steps.theadvocate.com
Federal lawyers said that a public comment period is not needed as the Secretary of Interior has broad powers and the leases sales are not required by law. Landry said energy jobs are on the line and prices have gone up.
Although Landry and the lawsuit’s supporters said the moratorium has already driven up prices and endangered energy jobs, Biden’s suspension didn’t stop companies from drilling on existing leases. “No existing lease has been cancelled as a result of any of the actions challenged here, and development activity from exploration through drilling and production has continued at similar levels as the preceding four years,” lawyers for the administration argued in briefs. long-term halt to oil and gas sales would curb future production and could hurt states like Louisiana that are heavily dependent on the industry that has contributed to global warming.
Landry noted that the State receives monies off the leases that funds the coastal reclamation efforts. Also the economy would be hurt by lost jobs. The states with heavy investments in oil are happy also.