Guest “What took so long?” by David Middleton
Biden’s oil lease ban lifted by federal judge
By JENNIFER A. DLOUHY AND ROBERT BURNSON on 6/16/2021
WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) –A federal judge lifted the Biden administration’s temporary ban on new oil and gas leases on public lands and offshore waters.
In a victory for 13 states that filed the legal challenge in Louisiana, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday blocking President Joe Biden’s Jan. 27 executive order while the litigation continues.
The Interior Department said it’s reviewing the ruling and will comply with it.
The agency said it’s working on an interim report that will “outline next steps and recommendations for the department and Congress to improve stewardship of public lands and waters, create jobs and build a just and equitable energy future,” according to an emailed statement.
Doughty’s ruling requires the Interior Department to immediately restart its leasing program, even as the agency continues its review of the effects of drilling.
Doughty, appointed to the bench in 2018 by former President Donald Trump, ruled that Biden’s executive order violated federal laws governing oil and gas leasing. He also faulted the Biden administration for failing to offer “any rational explanation” for its pause.