Western Energy Alliance Responds To Interior Revoking Drilling Permits Following The Administration’s Assurances Otherwise
DENVER – Contrary to statements by the White House that President Biden’s Executive Order banning leasing on public lands would not impact existing leases, Bloomberg Government reports 70 previously approved permits were revoked. The following is reaction from Western Energy Alliance, which filed suit earlier this week challenging Biden’s executive as order exceeding presidential authority.
“President Biden’s own Interior Department has contradicted the statements from just Wednesday’s White House climate press conference promising that his leasing ban would not affect existing leases,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “By revoking 70 drilling permits that have been in the works for months, the Interior Department is demonstrating how President Biden’s ill-advised leasing ban has immediate impacts on existing leases and the western workers and state budgets that depend on that development.
DENVER – Today, Western Energy Alliance filed a lawsuit challenging President Joe Biden’s executive order banning oil and natural gas leasing on federal public lands. The complaint challenges Biden’s order as exceeding presidential authority and constituting a violation of the Mineral Leasing Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.
The Alliance filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. The state ranks first in federal natural gas production and third in oil and has more federal acres leased than any other state. The Alliance will be represented by L. Poe Leggette, Mark S. Barron and Alexander K. Obrecht of BakerHostetler.
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance released reaction to today’s announcement by the Department of the Interior intended to ban oil and natural gas leasing and permitting on federal lands for 60 days. The following quote is attributable to Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma:
“Today’s announcement is intended as a temporary ban on leasing and permitting, but is also a precursor to a longer-term ban. The Acting Secretary recognizes the limits of his authority, and in actuality, the order has simply taken away the authority to lease and permit from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and put it on himself. The requirements to hold quarterly lease sales and process permits remain a mandate in law, and cannot just be put aside with the stroke of a pen. We fully expect the Acting Secretary will indeed not fulfill his duties under the Mineral Leasing Act and the Energy Policy Act, and are prepared to challenge this intended ban in court at the appropriate time.
“Unfortunately, oil and natural gas development in most of the West is virtually impossible without touching some federal land and minerals, no matter how hard a company tries. A ban on leasing and permitting is a death sentence to the industry in the West. If Pres. Biden makes good on his promised ban, he’ll sacrifice the jobs of 72,000 westerners, $44 billion in GDP, and over $5 billion in conservation funding in his first term alone.”
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Western Energy Alliance represents 200 companies engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West. Alliance members are independents, the majority of which are small businesses with an average of fourteen employees. Learn more at www.WesternEnergyAlliance.org.