Wyoming Launches Lawsuit Challenging Biden Administration’s Federal Leasing Ban
Written by Andrew-Rossi on March 24, 2021
The state of Wyoming filed a lawsuit challenging the moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land issued by President Biden and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.
The suit asserts that Haaland’s implementation of the leasing moratorium in Executive Order 14008 is invalid under federal law.
“Following a careful review of not only the President’s Executive Order but its practical effect, it is necessary for Wyoming to protect its citizens and challenge the Secretary’s action,” Governor Gordon said. “Not only is this federal action overreaching, it was implemented without public input as required under federal law.”
The lawsuit was filed in the Federal District Court of Wyoming. It states that the Administration’s action violates several federal policies:
- the National Environmental Policy Act
- the Administrative Procedure Act
- the Mineral Leasing Act
- the Federal Land Policy Management Act
The lawsuit asks the court to set aside Secretary Haaland’s action and require the Bureau of Land Management to resume quarterly oil and gas lease sales.
These leases have been suspended since President Biden signed the executive order in January.
Governor Gordon emphasized that the President’s de-facto ban on oil and gas leasing will not meet the Administration’s climate goals. Production will shift to other countries with less stringent emissions standards.
“The world will continue to need and use oil and gas for the foreseeable future,” Governor Gordon said. “The question is whether it will be produced under the environmental safeguards in place on federal lands in Wyoming or overseas without equally stringent regulations.”
Also, the economic effects on Wyoming are devastating. A recent economic study indicated that Wyoming would lose thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of state revenue.
Governor Gordon anticipates that other states will consider intervening after Wyoming’s action is filed.