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June 16, 2021

Earthjustice: Injunction Reversing Biden’s Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Pause is ‘Legally Wrong’

The law does not require the government to run public lands and waters for the sole benefit of the oil and gas industry

Contacts

Liz Trotter, (305) 332-5395, etrotter@earthjustice.org

New Orleans, La.

Last night, a federal judge in Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction to block the Biden administration’s policy of pausing the sale of new oil and gas leases on federal land and waters, while it conducts an environmental and economic review of the entire leasing program. The injunction was brought by 13 Republican-led states

The opinion to issue the injunction relied on an industry-backed report which has been debunked several times, as well as the claim that every administration must hold all lease sales within a 5 year plan, which no administration has ever done.

“This ruling is legally wrong,” said Drew Caputo, Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife and Oceans at Earthjustice. “The law does not require the government to run our public lands and waters for the sole benefit of the oil and gas industry.”

Background

In April, Earthjustice, Healthy Gulf, Center for Biological Diversity, Cook Inletkeeper, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Earth, Oceana, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a motion to become parties in order to defend the leasing pause from a lawsuit by 13 states that sought to end the pause and force the government to immediately offer federal lands and waters for lease. However, the motion was denied.

 

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.