Landry leads 13-state lawsuit to overturn lease ban


Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is leading a 13-state lawsuit against the Biden administration for what he calls “an attack on American energy independence, good-paying jobs, and affordable energy for all,” reports the Associated Press.

In a March 24 announcement, Landry says the 13 states seek a court order ending the moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands imposed after President Joe Biden signed executive orders on climate change Jan. 27. The suit specifically seeks an order that the government go ahead with a sale of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico originally scheduled for March 17 and a lease sale that had been planned for this year in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

It also calls for other suspended lease sales to go forward on federal lands in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Oklahoma, Nevada and New Mexico. The states claim in the lawsuit that Biden and multiple federal agencies bypassed comment periods and other bureaucratic steps required before such delays can be taken. Biden’s team has argued that companies still have plenty of undeveloped leases – almost 14 million acres in Western states and more than 9 million acres offshore. Companies also have about 7,700 unused drilling permits.

In addition to Landry’s lawsuit, Louisiana’s U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy joined several other Republican senators claiming an upcoming forum on Biden’s future plans for American oil and gas fails to include voices from their energy-producing states, The Houma Courier reports.