Opinion / Politics

Biden Administration Sued for Halting Oil, Gas Leasing on Federal Lands

BidenThe Biden administration was sued on Jan. 27 over its executive order to halt oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.

The lawsuit (pdf) was filed in the U.S. District Court in Wyoming by the Western Energy Alliance, a group representing fossil fuel producers on federal lands. They say President Joe Biden exceeded his authority with the recent order.

“The law is clear. Presidents don’t have authority to ban leasing on public lands. All Americans own the oil and natural gas beneath public lands, and Congress has directed them to be responsibly developed on their behalf,”  Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma said in a statement, according to The Washington Times. “Drying up new leasing puts future development as well as existing projects at risk. President Biden cannot simply ignore laws in effect for over half a century.”

The executive order, Sgamma said, violates the Mineral Leasing Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.

The lawsuit argues that the administration’s suspension of the federal oil and gas leasing program is “an unsupported and unnecessary action that is inconsistent with the Secretary’s statutory obligations” and is “both arbitrary and capricious.”

The Biden executive order sets up a “pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters to the extent possible” and will launch a “rigorous review of all existing leasing and permitting practices related to fossil fuel development on public lands and waters,” according to the White House.

The White House said the move is an attempt to “tackle the climate crisis.”

Republicans and industry leaders said the order would harm the U.S. economy and result in thousands of job losses.

Dan Naatz of the Independent Petroleum Association of America said in a separate statement: “Do not be fooled, this is a ban [on drilling]. The Biden administration’s plan to obliterate the jobs of American oil and gas explorers and producers has been on clear display.”

What’s more, according to Sgamma, the order would also put at risk $8.8 billion in conservation revenue that is funded in part by mineral development on federal property.

“Biden’s ban is an overreach meant to satisfy the environmental left, but it would seriously harm the livelihoods of tens of thousands of westerners and put at risk millions more as state services become unfunded,” she said.

The order doesn’t affect existing oil and gas leases, which can last 10 years, officials have said.

The Interior Department stated the pause “won’t impact existing operations or permits for valid, existing leases, which are continuing to be reviewed and approved.”

Republicans in Congress have signaled they will work to stop Biden’s agenda.

“Pie-in-the-sky government mandates and directives that restrict our mining, oil, and gas industries adversely impact our energy security and independence,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), a member of the GOP’s leadership in the House, said in a statement this week.

Reprinted with Permission from - Epoch Times by - Jack Phillips

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Lynny918
10 months ago

There is so much going on the “we the people” are unaware of. A win of this lawsuit would be fantastic; I’m just really not too confident in any wins in this political climate. It may sound depressing, but when we as Republicans, begin to feel heard, I’ll have a more positive attitude. Until then, I feel we’re in an abyss of deception.

R.C.
10 months ago

tHIS IS JUST ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO DESTROY AMERICA . COST AMERICAN JOBS, SO WE CAN BUY OIL FROM OUR FOREIGN ENEMIES. THANKS BEJIGN BIDEN.

Paul
10 months ago

What an Arogant Individual.
I can’t express myself any other way.
He’s out to destroy the Middle class and take his cut. Nothing More!

Last edited 10 months ago by Paul
Brenda
10 months ago

With all the job and income losses, I think we ought to take all the money from all the billionaires and millionaires in office, and their families, and give it all back to the American people. Divide the money up among all Americans (including the officials). That should help level the field if everyone gets the same amount of money.

Nina Rae
10 months ago

‘To tackle the Climate Crisis’? I recently read several articles that stated that the United States of America has the cleanest air of ANY of the nations involved in the clean air fiasco! Try cleaning up the rest of the world, or getting out of your office in your smog infested city and take a good look at America as it really exists!!

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