Judge issues order blocking Biden admin pause on new oil and gas leasing on public land and waters

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump nominee, has issued an order temporarily blocking the Biden administration’s pause on new oil and gas leasing on public land and waters.

The injunction follows lawsuits over the leasing pause from more than a dozen Republican-led states.

“We are reviewing the judge’s opinion and will comply with the decision,” a spokesperson for the Interior Department told The Hill. “The Interior Department continues to work on an interim report that will include initial findings on the state of the federal conventional energy programs, as well as outline next steps and recommendations for the Department and Congress to improve stewardship of public lands and waters, create jobs, and build a just and equitable energy future.”

Judge Terry Doughty wrote “Even though existing leases are proceeding, the fact that new oil and gas leases on federal lands and in federal waters are paused will ultimately result in losses to Plaintiff States which they will likely not be able to recover.”