Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) announced Wednesday he is heading a coalition of 13 states in a lawsuit against the Biden administration for its attack on American energy independence and its benefits, including jobs and affordable energy.
The lawsuit comes in the wake of Biden’s executive order in his early days in office that put a moratorium on any new oil and gas field leasing on federal land. The Department of Interior also took similar steps to attack existing leases.
BREAKING: Louisiana AG @JeffLandry is leading a 13-state lawsuit against the Biden Administration’s attack on American energy independence, good-paying jobs, and affordable energy for all. See the filing: https://t.co/s4uQS8DKkZ
— RAGA (@RepublicanAGs) March 24, 2021
“Together, these actions make-up the Biden Ban – an aggressive, reckless abuse of Presidential power that threatens American families’ livelihoods and our national interests,” Landry said.
“By executive fiat, Joe Biden and his administration have single-handedly driven the price of energy up – costing the American people where it hurts most, in their pocketbooks,” Landry continued. “Biden’s executive orders abandon middle-class jobs at a time when America needs them most and put our energy security in the hands of foreign countries, many of whom despise America’s greatness.”
The lawsuit states:
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and Mineral Leasing Act set out specific statutory duties requiring executive agencies to further the expeditious and safe development of the abundant energy. In compliance with those statutes, the Department of the Interior has for decades issued leases for the development of oil and natural gas on public lands and offshore waters.
“For decades, Congress has embraced responsible development of our natural resources as a means of achieving energy independence – a matter of national security,” Landry said. “They have discarded vulnerable dependence on foreign oil, which is why the court should reject the Biden Ban.”
The lawsuit announcement said the Biden administration’s rationale for its war on fossil fuels is climate change but, Landry argues, “instead it constitutes what is likely the single-largest divestment of revenue for environmental protection projects in American history.”
In Louisiana alone, canceling leases would reduce financial benefits up to $57 million, according to the announcement.
The other states joined in the lawsuit filed this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.”
Details in the lawsuit about how Biden’s ban hurts states and the environment:
- To facilitate the Outer Continental Shelf’s expeditious development, OCSLA directs the Secretary of the Interior to “administer the provisions of this subchapter relating to the leasing of the outer Continental Shelf.” To this end, OCSLA requires the Secretary to create a Five-Year Leasing Program and authorizes her “to grant to the highest responsible qualified bidder or bidders by competitive bidding, under regulations promulgated in advance, any oil and gas lease on submerged lands of the outer Continental Shelf” not covered by prior leases. OCSLA also requires the Department to review lessee requests for approval to explore and develop oil and gas resources. States are entitled to significant portions of the proceeds from Outer Continental Shelf leasing and production. The Mineral Leasing Act has similar provisions for onshore oil and gas development. These laws affirm Congress’s intent to responsibly use our own resources as a means of achieving energy independence.
- These leases allow America to reach its full energy-production potential. For the states specifically, they also provide significant environmental benefits because portions of the lease proceeds are invested into vital State environmental defense and restoration projects. In fact, each year the federal government returns billions of dollars to the states and environmental reclamation projects from OCSLA and MLA lease proceeds for critical environmental restoration and protection projects.
The case is Louisiana v. Biden, Case 2:21-cv-00778 in the U.S. United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
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