CHEYENNE, Wyo. –  The state of Wyoming filed a lawsuit today challenging the de-facto moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land issued by President Biden and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. The suit asserts that Haaland’s implementation of the leasing moratorium contained in Executive Order 14008 is invalid under federal law.

In a press release from yesterday, Governor Mark Gordon issued this statement: “Following a careful review of not only the President’s Executive Order, but its practical effect, it is necessary for Wyoming to protect its citizens and challenge the Secretary’s action,” “Not only is this federal action overreaching, it was implemented without public input as required under federal law.”

The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court of Wyoming and states that the Administration’s action violates a number of federal laws…the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Mineral Leasing Act and the Federal Land Policy Management Act. The lawsuit asks the court to set aside the Secretary’s action and require the Bureau of Land Management to resume quarterly oil and gas lease sales, which have been suspended since the order was signed.

Governor Gordon emphasized that the President’s de-facto ban on oil and gas leasing will not meet the climate goals of the Administration, as production will simply shift to other countries with less stringent emissions standards.

“The world will continue to need and use oil and gas for the foreseeable future,” Governor Gordon said. “The question is whether it will be produced under the environmental safeguards in place on federal lands in Wyoming, or overseas without equally stringent regulations.”

The economic effects to Wyoming are devastating. A recent economic study indicated that thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of state revenue will be lost to the State of Wyoming.

Governor Gordon anticipates that other states will consider intervening after Wyoming’s action is filed. A copy of the suit may be found here.


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