Federal judge sides with BLM over oil, gas lease pause


A federal judge in Wyoming affirmed the Biden administration’s authority to not hold oil and gas lease sales in early 2021, reports Sheridan Media.

Judge Scott Skavdahl further found that industry groups lacked standing to challenge the lease sale postponements. The Wyoming court rejected across the board the arguments by industry and Wyoming, and found that BLM acted well within its legal authority in postponing lease sales in order to ensure that it fully considered the environmental harms they could cause.

The court recognized that authority and properly upheld the postponements.

In early 2021, the Biden administration issued an executive order aimed at tackling the climate crisis, which directed the Department of the Interior to temporarily pause new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and offshore waters.

In June 2021, Judge Terry Doughty of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Department of Interior from moving forward with a moratorium under President Biden’s order, while noting that the government could still postpone sales based on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other concerns. Read the entire story.