Despite the injunction republican AG’s got to pause the pause of oil leases, Biden has paused them again.
Amid ongoing court battles over oil and gas leases with Republican state attorneys general, including Louisiana’s Jeff Landry, the Biden administration is once again pausing the leases as it appeals a judge’s ruling that higher federal estimates for the cost of greenhouse gas emissions were too burdensome for energy-producing states. In a court filing Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice appealed a Feb. 11 ruling by federal District Judge James David Cain, of Lake Charles, that said the administration’s action to raise the cost estimate of carbon emissions would unfairly increase regulatory expenses for states like Louisiana. The cost estimate, also known as the social cost of carbon, outlines the economic costs of emitting one additional ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. President Joe Biden, on his first day in office, restored the climate cost estimate to about $51 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions after the Trump administration had reduced the figure to about $7 or less per ton. The Biden administration has used the estimate to drive climate policies aimed at reducing emissions.theadvocate.com
To no surprise, the republican AG’s went judge shopping to find one who would stay that action. They found one.
The Republican attorneys general filed suit in April over the increased estimate, citing fears of economic damage to their states. The Justice Department’s Friday filing notes that oil and gas leases have stopped since the Feb. 11 ruling. “Work surrounding public-facing rules, grants, leases, permits, and other projects has been delayed or stopped altogether so that agencies can assess whether and how they can proceed,” the filing said. In a statement Monday, Louisiana Oil & Gas Association President Mike Moncla defended Cain’s ruling, saying it shows federal policy can help reduce emissions “without taking an ax to our oil and gas industry.” “This administration continues to make decisions that increase energy costs on Americans,” Moncla said. “In just one year in office, President Biden’s energy policies (or lack thereof) have more than doubled oil, natural gas and gasoline prices. LOGA will continue to fight for actual policy that puts Americans to work while also providing affordable, reliable, and abundant energy to our nation.”
The republican AG’s have been a thorn in Biden’s side. Our AG is often leading the pack.
The White House has been sparring with attorneys general, including Landry, over drilling policies ever since Biden halted all oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters shortly after he took office in January 2021. Landry joined 12 other attorneys general in filing a lawsuit in March 2021 to block Biden’s order. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, of Lafayette, granted the 13-state group a preliminary injunction that paved the way for a November lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. However, another federal judge in Washington invalidated the sale, saying it violated federal law by failing to properly account for potential effects on greenhouse gas emissions. The American Petroleum Institute has said it intends to revive the lease sale results.
On again the off again. We should not drill and I support the President in this effort.