Western Energy Alliance in Federal Court Friday Challenging the Biden Administration’s Failure to Hold Quarterly Lease Sales
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance will appear in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming on Friday morning 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. While lease sales have been scheduled for June, there are no plans to resume regular quarterly sales afterwards, a clear violation of the Mineral Leasing Act.
DENVER -- Western Energy Alliance today submitted comments to the U.S. Department of the Interior regarding the Biden Administration’s withdrawal of a 10-mile zone around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park from oil and natural gas leasing and development for a 20-year period. The Alliance urged the department to accept the compromise agreement from the Navajo Nation for a smaller 5-mile buffer zone in order to protect the park while allowing tribal members to benefit from their energy resources.
“The Biden Administration is moving forward with a policy that poses a significant risk to the local economy and the livelihoods of thousands of Navajo mineral owners while ignoring a compromise 5-mile buffer from the Navajo Nation,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “The administration should not ignore the will of the tribe, which proposed and voted overwhelmingly for the compromise solution. Depriving Navajo families of a major source of income is not only an environmental injustice, but also contrary to basic principles of tribal consultation.”