By Brianna Kraemer , The Center Square
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon expressed his content on Wednesday after a federal judge blocked the Biden administration’s moratorium on new federal oil and gas leases.
A U.S District judge based out of Louisiana granted a preliminary injunction in the case on Tuesday, ultimately restraining the U.S. Department of Interior from continuing to implement the pause on new oil and natural gas leases on public land or offshore waters.
The decision is a major setback for President Joe Biden’s climate change agenda.
Wyoming relies heavily on lease sale revenue to fund its public services, Gordon noted in his statement.
“This preliminary injunction is outstanding news for Wyoming and our energy workers. It confirms the position we have maintained since this ‘pause’ was implemented,” Gordon said.
“The Biden Administration has in fact put in place an unlawful, de-facto moratorium, causing economic harm to states like ours that rely on lease sale revenue to fund our schools and critical functions of government,” he added.
Biden’s executive order halting new oil and gas leases went into effect just a week after Inauguration Day. The order, called “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” pauses new leases until a comprehensive review of the environmental impacts can be assessed.
Wyoming is the nation’s top producer of onshore gas that takes place on federal lands, and second in the nation for its federal onshore oil production, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
Of the nearly 63 million acres in the state of Wyoming, oil and gas leases managed by the bureau accounted for 8.4 million acres of land from over 13,000 leases in recent years.
With Tuesday’s ruling, Gordon said he hopes a similar ruling will be issued in a case filed in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming.