DENVER – Western Energy Alliance today responded to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) onshore oil and natural gas lease sale in Wyoming and legal maneuvers by Keep-It-in-the-Ground environmental groups led by WildEarth Guardians that want to stop all federal oil and natural gas leasing and development. The following statement is attributable to Alliance president Kathleen Sgamma.
“These groups are trying to conjure up a legal precedent to support their agenda of absolutely no oil and natural gas leasing and development anywhere. With obstructionist groups having challenged 3,500 recent drilling permits and 5,900 leases issued since 2015, there is a coordinated effort to drive an agenda through the courts of absolutely no federal production at all. Actual laws passed by Congress such as the Mineral Leasing Act, which requires regular lease sales, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which specifies that oil and natural gas is one of the primary uses of public lands, are the prevailing law of the land. It’s bad timing for them that we’re in a Supreme Court season right now in which the highest court is reining in judicial activism that conjured legal rights and policies out of thin air, not the constitution and actual laws.
“The fact that they sued as soon as the Interior Department started the Wyoming sale pulls back the curtain on their agenda: the environmental lobby won’t be satisfied unless they get 100% no new leasing and development. Public lands are managed in a balanced manner. Balance is a word these groups don’t understand. All onshore lease sales announced by Interior were very small from a historical perspective, but especially so since no sales have been held since 2020. Acreage was down 80% from what was originally considered, and then after the public protest period, acreage was further reduced. That balance is never good enough for these radical groups that want to stop all federal and ultimately, all American oil and natural gas development, no matter how high prices are for consumers. Their radical agenda is not support by the American people, who are paying the price of misguided Green New Deal policies. If we don’t produce it here in America, it must be imported from overseas.”
In May, the Alliance appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming in its lawsuit challenging the Department of the Interior’s failure to hold quarterly onshore oil and natural gas lease sales. The suit, Western Energy Alliance v Biden, was filed in January 2021 after President Biden signed the Executive Order on Climate Change (#14008) that banned lease sales. The judge has not yet issued a ruling on the case.
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