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Federal judge stops Team Biden's order on new oil and gas leasing

by WorldTribune Staff, June 17, 2021

A federal judge for the Western District of Louisiana on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction which put a stop to Team Biden's pause on new oil and gas leasing on public land.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, ordered the injunction after several lawsuits were filed by several states that stand to be devastated economically by the executive order Joe Biden issued soon after the Jan. 20 inauguration.

Judge Doughty temporarily halted Biden's order while the lawsuits make their way through the legal process.

An Interior Department spokesman told The Hill: “We are reviewing the judge’s opinion and will comply with the decision. 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.”

Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady said that if Biden’s order on gas and oil is permanent, 120,000 Texas jobs would be lost.

Carlsbad, New Mexico Mayor Dale Janway told The Associated Press in January that Biden had "spoke about bringing our nation together. Eliminating drilling on public lands will cost thousands of New Mexicans their jobs and destroy what’s left of our state’s economy. How does that bring us together? Environmental efforts should be fair and well-researched, not knee-jerk mandates that just hurt an already impoverished state."

The Ute Indian Tribe in Fort Duchesne, Utah also blasted Team Biden’s order to restrict energy development on public lands.

“Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interest can only be taken after effective tribal consultation,” Luke Duncan, Chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee, wrote in a letter to the Department of the Interior.

Duncan accused the Biden administration of violating the U.S. Treaty and trust responsibilities to the Ute Indian Tribe and violating the “important principles of tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”

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