Wyoming Sues Administration Over Oil and Gas Leasing Ban

March 24, 2021 by TWN Staff

CHEYENNE, Wyo. –  The state of Wyoming sued the Biden administration Wednesday challenging what state lawmakers describe as a “de-facto moratorium on oil and gas leasing” on federal land.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Wyoming, asserts Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s implementation of the leasing moratorium contained 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,” said Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, in a written statement.

“Not only is this federal action overreaching, it was implemented without public input as required under federal law,” he said.

The lawsuit states the administration’s action violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Mineral Leasing Act and the Federal Land Policy Management Act.

The state is requesting the court set aside the secretary’s action and require the Bureau of Land Management to resume quarterly oil and gas lease sales, which have been suspended since the order was signed.

The governor went on to assert that blocking oil and gas leasing in Wyoming and elsewhere will not meet the climate goals of the administration, as production will simply shift to other countries with less stringent emissions standards.

“The world will continue to need and use oil and gas for the foreseeable future,” 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.”

A copy of the suit may be found here.

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