Since 2015, when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf issued a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on state forest and state park lands, the administration argued it was “striking the right balance” between economic and environmental concerns.
However, Wolf’s executive order didn’t stop all new leases on publicly owned acreage.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said Wednesday the agency is canceling oil and gas lease sales for the second quarter, drawing criticism from Wyoming’s governor.
The announcement marks the second quarter in a row that the agency, which manages energy development, recreation, grazing and conservation on 245 million federal acres, halted lease sales after President Joe Biden signed an executive order in January that included a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands.
A coalition of 13 states sued President Joe Biden’s administration Wednesday over its January ban of new oil and gas leasing on federal lands.
The 13-state coalition argued that President Joe Biden’s Jan. 27 executive order banning new oil and gas leases on federal lands was unlawful, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced the lawsuit alongside state lawmakers and energy officials.
“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 during a press conference Wednesday. “Biden’s Executive Orders abandon middle-class jobs at a time when America needs them most and put our energy security in the hands of foreign countries, many of whom despise America’s greatness.”