Oil drilling ban lifted by U.S. judge, final decision pending

oil drilling

The oil drilling ban pushed by Biden-Harris administration since January of 2021 has been lifted by a U.S. federal judge in Louisiana; the move represents a setback to the White House and their efforts in regards to climate change.

Firstly, the order from the judge came out on Tuesday; it granted a preliminary injunction to Louisiana and 12 other states that sued Democratic President Joe Biden; and the Interior Department over the freeze on new drilling auctions.

Secondly, the move represents also a step forward for Louisiana, as it is a key state in the U.S. oil and gas production; and it would be financially harmed by the drilling ban. As we reported previously, since president Biden was in campaign, a number of states including Louisiana, Wyoming and others, took a stand against the drilling ban.

Thirdly, the drilling ban became effective, provisionally, in January; and the final decision will come in a few weeks. As for the Louisiana lift, Reuters reports that the Interior Department said it would comply with the ruling, but did not say when auctions might resume.

Moreover, the U.S.’s top oil and gas trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, issued a statement urging the administration “to move expeditiously to follow the court’s order and lift the federal leasing pause.”

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Oil drilling ban would have negative effects for state’s financials

In addition, API Vice President of Upstream Policy Kevin O’Scannlain, said. “The federal leasing pause is harmful to our nation’s national security, environmental progress and economic recovery.”

He also remarked. “Now is the time for the administration to put an end to this ‘import more oil’ policy that threatens American jobs; and deprives state and local communities of much-needed revenue; all while likely increasing emissions and the risks of climate change.”

On the other hand, The Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement that the order “turns a blind eye to runaway climate pollution that’s devastating our planet.” You can read the full statement here.

Furthermore, the judge’s decision applies to onshore and offshore leasing nationwide; indeed, it will remain in effect, pending the final resolution of the case or orders from higher courts; according to a court document reviewed by Reuters.

Finally, the Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana; said that Louisiana and the states had met the requirements to establish that they would suffer injury from the pause on new oil and gas leases; therefore, the drilling ban should be lifted.

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