Climate change vs. fossil fuels: Louisiana, 12 other states earn victory for oil & gas industry in federal court


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty has put the breaks on the Biden administration’s attempt to tackle climate change, by granting a preliminary injunction against the president’s order to pause all land lease sales for oil and gas. It’s a win for the fossil fuels industry, the life-blood of Louisiana’s economy.

The preliminary injunction now imposed is a victory for Louisiana and 12 other states in opposition to the president’s policy.

“President Biden greatly overreached, vastly overreached,” said Scott St. John, Louisiana’s deputy solicitor general. “The pause was completely illegal. We had a good deal of confidence, but you never know what a court is going to do.”

The injunction orders the Department of the Interior to end the pause of new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters. Judge Doughty ruled the ban violates two congressional statues: the Mineral Lands Leasing Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Doughty said there was no reason, no notice, and no comment period for the ban. He said millions and possibly billions of dollars are at stake, losses to plaintiff states which they will likely not be able to recover.

“We will continue to talk about the great things Louisiana is doing in our industry,” said Tyler Gray, president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association. “You don’t have to chose between a heavy-handed regulation, and producing clean energy. You can actually have both. Louisiana is the best example of that.”

It’s widely known that the oil and gas industry on the Gulf Coast supports a considerable pipeline of energy for America, as well as thousands of jobs. It’s also widely know that the Biden administration wants to do something about climate change. So, this fight appears to be far from over.

“It’s a message from D.C. that they’re going to be against us,” said Mike Moncla, president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association. “We need to continue to do everything we can to fight for our industry, the hard working people of Louisiana. We will continue to do that. The world needs our product.”

Click here to read the judge’s injunction order.

Click here to read the judge’s memorandum ruling.

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