A permanent injunction has been issued by a judge in Louisiana against President Joe Biden's moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on federal land in 13 states.
The Hill reported Judge Terry Doughty of the District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, a Donald Trump appointee, ordered the permanent injunction in a Thursday ruling.
Thirteen states had sued over the moratorium issued in January 2021.
His order does not apply to any states not involved in the lawsuit.
Doughty ruled the moratorium is in violation of the Mineral Leasing Act and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
"Both statutes require government defendants' agencies to sell oil and gas leases," he said in the order. "The OCSLA has a five-year plan in effect that requires eligible leases to be sold. Government defendants' agencies have no authority to make significant revisions in the OCSLA five-year plan without going through the procedure mandated by Congress."
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had tossed out an earlier injunction by Doughty.
The appeals court had returned the case to the Louisiana District Court to address procedural problems before that case can proceed.
In April, the Biden administration announced it would resume leasing sales for oil and gas drilling on federal land, while also sharply reducing the acreage available for leases, and charging higher royalties on the oil and gas produced.
At the time, the Biden administration felt external pressure to address high gas prices in the U.S.
In January 2021, his first week in office, Biden suspended all drilling on new oil and gas leases. He stated that the suspension should be implemented "pending completion of a study and reconsideration of oil and gas permitting and leasing practices," according to the presidential order.
The Hill has contacted the Interior Department for comment.
Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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