Environmental groups sue to block Biden admin’s oil drilling lease plan

Robert Burnson June 29, 2022

(Bloomberg) — Environmental groups sued the Biden administration to block its revival of plans to allow new oil drilling on public land in western states.

The Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and eight other national and regional environmental groups said the administration’s plan to sell 173 oil and gas leases violates the U.S. environmental laws. 

A week after taking office in 2021, President Joe Biden paused the sale of oil and gas leases and ordered the Interior Department to assess the environmental costs of new drilling, including on global warming.

Five months later, a federal judge in Louisiana invalidated the moratorium. In April, with gas prices rising at the pump, the administration announced plans for the new lease sales.

The complaint filed Tuesday in Washington federal court names the Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management as defendants. The lease sales began in Wyoming on Wednesday.

The case is Dakota Resource Council v. Department of the Interior, 22-cv-01853, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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