A major lawsuit has just been filed against the Biden administration in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming claiming it has overreached with its moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land, according to The Western Journal.

President Joe Biden's order declared “the Secretary of the Interior shall pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters pending completion of a comprehensive review and reconsideration of Federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices in light of the Secretary of the Interior’s broad stewardship responsibilities over the public lands and in offshore waters, including potential climate and other impacts associated with oil and gas activities on public lands or in offshore waters.”

The language means the pause is the equivalent of a ban on new leases.

“The type of programmatic environmental analysis regarding climate change that has been announced will take years to complete, likely lasting most if not all of the president’s first term,” said The Western Alliance in a news release. The Alliance represents around 200 producers. The suit wants the courts to block the order.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming, It reads: “On January 27, 2021, the Secretary of the Interior, acting at the President’s direction, suspended indefinitely the federal oil and gas leasing program. The suspension is an unsupported and unnecessary action that is inconsistent with the Secretary’s statutory obligations. Because the suspension is both arbitrary and capricious and contrary to law, the Court should find the suspension invalid and set aside the challenged government action,” 

According to Kathleen Sgamma, the president of the alliance, the president does not have the power to do what he is trying to do.

“The law is clear. Presidents don’t have authority to ban leasing on public lands. All Americans own the oil and natural gas beneath public lands, and Congress has directed them to be responsibly developed on their behalf. Drying up new leasing puts future development as well as existing projects at risk. President Biden cannot simply ignore laws in effect for over half a century,” she said.

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