Guest “@ # $ @ $%!!!” by David Middleton
First, a quick review of the past year…
Biden ‘Pauses’ When Leasing Oil and Gas on Public Lands and Waters
January 27, 2021
NATHAN ROTT, SCOTT DETROW, ALANA WISE
In an effort to slow the nation’s contribution to climate change, President Biden signed an executive order that began halting oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.
The much-anticipated move was one of a number of executive actions the president took on Wednesday to address the deepening climate crisis and broader decline of the natural world, but it won’t come without a return impact.
The oil and gas industry, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to challenge the move, as are fossil fuel-rich Western states whose economies are tied to the mining industry. on public land.
Anticipating the move, Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, which represents oil and gas companies in many Western states, said: “We’ll go to court shortly.”
Fossil fuel extraction on federal lands generates billions of dollars in royalties and revenue for state and local economies. But it is also responsible for almost a quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and the Biden administration seems serious about cutting it over-contributing global warming.
Biden’s halt to new oil and gas leases also doesn’t affect operations on private or public land, where about 90 percent of the country’s oil and gas development takes place.
“The manufacturing industry has a lot of leases, a lot of contracts have been granted so there won’t be an immediate impact. But it will provide an immediate opportunity for the administration to think about how we move forward,” said Nada Culver, vice president of public lands at the National Audubon Society.
“It would be extremely difficult to get permission to close,” said Rebecca Watson, who served as assistant secretary of land and mineral management at the Interior Department under President George W. Bush. “You sold a property right, a lease, so you paid for a lease and then you can’t develop it. I think there will be lawsuits and yes, about such a move. “
She said the permanent rental ban would also be subject to litigation. Under the Mineral Leasing Act, the government is required to hold quarterly rental sales. The Biden administration could make less or all of the land available for rent, but Watson argued that a court could find it illegal.
Mark Squillace, a law professor at the University of Colorado who worked on the Interior during the Clinton and Carter administrations, agrees that a permanent ban will cause more problems than a pause. But he thinks the administration can make a big statement with immediate action.
Biden’s oil rental ban lifted by federal judge
By JENNIFER A. DLOUHY AND ROBERT BURNSON on June 16, 2021
WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) —A federal judge has lifted the Biden administration’s temporary ban on new oil and gas leases on public lands and offshore waters.
In a victory for 13 states filing legal objections in Louisiana, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary order Tuesday blocking President Joe Biden’s Jan. lawsuit continues.
The Home Office said it was reviewing the ruling and would abide by it.
The agency said it is working on an interim report that will “outline next steps and recommendations for the department and Congress to improve the management of public lands and waters, create jobs and building a fair and equitable energy future,” according to an emailed statement.
Doughty’s ruling requires the Home Office to immediately restart the rental program, even as the agency continues to review the impacts of drilling.
Doughty, who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump in 2018, ruled that Biden’s executive order violated federal law governing oil and gas leasing. He also blamed the Biden administration for failing to provide “any reasonable explanation” for the pause.
About 300 leases have received tenders, mostly for deep water areas.
Now, just this morning…
Federal Judge Annuls Massive Sale of Leases in the Gulf of Mexico
By Irina Slav – January 28, 2022
A federal judge has canceled the largest oil and gas lease in the Gulf of Mexico on the grounds that the Ocean Energy Administration violated environmental law — the National Environmental Policy Act — by failing to provide factor in the emissions-related impact of rental sales.
Rule In a lawsuit brought against the Department of the Interior, the American Petroleum Institute, and the state of Louisiana, District Judge Rudolph Contreras returned the lease sale to the Department of Interior to decide what to do with it.
President Biden imposed a drilling rental ban on federal lands shortly after he took office, but oil-producing states successfully challenged the ban in court, and the Interior Department was forced to proceed. sales and rentals.
The auction brought in $192 million in winnings for 307 plots of 1.7 million acres. The interest surrounding this sale is in large part due to the low carbon emissions of crude oil extracted from these waters, compared with the higher footprint of foreign plays or onshore US wells.
Obama was appointed by Obama and extremely depraved Essentially, Rudolph Contreras directed the Interior Department to continue breaking the law. This is not the first time Contreras has illegally blocked a Federal lease.
The companies argued with the court that leaving the lease blank would compromise confidential bids that were submitted for the zones, letting their competitors know who was bidding for what and at what price.
“any disruption a rental revocation may cause,” he wrote, does not outweigh the seriousness of the NEPA fault in this case and the need for the agency to properly address it. . “
While the Home Office will almost certainly not appeal the ruling – they want to lose. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has entered the case as an intervention defendant and will almost certainly appeal.
Time for another SCOTUS slap!