A Louisiana judge issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday against the Biden administration’s pause on new oil and gas leases on public lands. The decision is a major win for the rule of law and comes in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of 13 Republican state attorneys general, who claimed that Biden ignored legal rule-making requirements when he banned new drilling leases on federally owned land during his first week in office.
Judge Terry Doughty, a 2017 Trump appointee, wrote, “The Plaintiff States’ claims are substantial. Millions and possibly billions of dollars are at stake. Local government funding, jobs for Plaintiff State workers, and funds for the restoration of Louisiana’s Coastline are at stake. Plaintiff States have a reliance interest in the proceeds derived from offshore and on land oil and gas lease sales.” The injunction applies nationwide and will remain in effect as the lawsuit proceeds throughout the court system.
The lawsuit is led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who, upon announcement of the ruling, said, “This is a victory not only for the rule of law, but also for the thousands of workers who produce affordable energy for Americans. We appreciate that federal courts have recognized President Biden is completely outside his authority in his attempt to shut down oil and gas leases on federal lands.”
Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy also celebrated the decision: “This is fantastic news for workers in Louisiana whose livelihoods are being threatened by the administration’s thoughtless energy policy. The president should not be able to take away tens of thousands of jobs to fulfill a campaign promise. We need a long-term, all-of-the-above strategy that does not pick winners and losers. The Department of the Interior should immediately begin moving forward with another offshore lease sale.”
The injunction is a major win for America’s energy sector, which has been battered in recent months by the Biden administration’s radical climate agenda. The episode serves as a key reminder of the importance of federalism and separation of powers, as it demonstrates that GOP-led states and the courts can serve as a bulwark against Biden’s most destructive policies.