Oil industry group seeks clarity on carbon emissions ruling


The American Petroleum Institute is asking federal officials to clarify their stance that a recent ruling by a Louisiana-based federal judge will cause permitting and leasing delays, reports Axios.

“In a time of tight markets for oil and natural gas and geopolitical unrest, American energy serves as a strategic asset and stabilizing force for global energy security,” the API says in a letter to Deb Haaland, secretary of the Department of the Interior. “Unwarranted delays in federal ‘permitting and leasing’ of American energy is exactly the wrong policy for DOI to follow.”

Ten states, including Louisiana, challenged the Biden administration’s decision to temporarily set the social cost of greenhouse gasses at $51 a ton, the metric used under the Obama administration, pending a final decision by an interagency task force. Judge James D. Cain Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued an injunction that not only bars the use of the interim metric, but would prevent the new task force figure from being used, Axios reports.

The administration told the court that the injunction will likely delay Interior Department oil-and-gas lease sales. But API argues that the injunction’s impact should be limited, calling the social cost metric “inappropriate for use in any project-level or site-specific application.”

“We urge the department to prioritize and move forward with its statutory requirements to issue quarterly lease sales for onshore energy development and issue a new five-year plan for offshore development,” the API’s letter states.