A federal judge put a stop to the Biden Administration’s unlawful moratorium placed on oil and gas leasing until the litigation is completed.
Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court in Monroe, Louisiana said Biden’s cancellation of oil and gas leases was illegal.
The judge said the states suing the federal government could prove immediate harm, as the moratorium prevents them from collecting fees from oil and gas exploration and production.
Alaska, along with Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia filed the lawsuit against Biden, who in his first week of his presidency suspended federal leases.
“This is excellent news for Alaska. As we have seen in less than five months, the threat of federal overreach on major economic projects within Alaska is very real,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “It is stunning that a federal judge has to tell the President of the United States to stop trying to illegally shut down environmentally sound oil and gas development and good paying jobs for Americans and Alaskans – which support the indigenous tribes and residents of Alaska’s North Slope – while the president works to promote carbon emitting Russian gas production overseas. Alaska is consistently a top producer of oil and gas in the U.S. and we are proud of our state’s responsible development and transportation of oil to meet American demand.”
The Interior Department said it would review the decision before responding.
Doughty wrote, “The omission of any rational explanation in cancelling the lease sales, and in enacting the Pause, results in this Court ruling that Plaintiff States also have a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of this claim.”