According to a report from The Hill, Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana permanently blocked Biden’s January 2021 order that prevented new oil and gas drilling on federal lands.
The decision applies to 13 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. It does not apply to any states uninvolved in the lawsuit.
According to The Hill, “Doughty ruled the order was in violation of the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), saying it took steps reserved for Congress.”
“Both statutes require Government Defendants’ agencies to sell oil and gas leases. The OCSLA has a Five-Year Plan in effect that requires eligible leases to be sold. Government Defendants’ agencies have no authority to make significant revisions in the OCSLA Five-Year Plan without going through the procedure mandated by Congress,” Doughty, a Trump appointee, wrote.
“The MLA requires the DOI [Interior Department] to hold lease sales, where eligible lands are available at lease quarterly. By stopping the process, the agencies are in effect amending two Congressional statutes. Neither the OCSLA nor the MLA gives the Government Defendants’ agencies the authority to implement a Stop of lease sales,” he added.
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— The Hill (@thehill) August 19, 2022