UPDATE: Federal Judge Says Climate Crisis Cancels Oil & Gas Leases in Gulf
The American Petroleum Institute says it's appealing a judge's ruling canceling the recent gulf oil and gas lease sale.
That lawsuit was filed in the D.C. Circuit Cort of Appeals.
Last month, D.C. federal judge Rudolph Contreras invalidated the gulf lease sale saying it violated environmental law.
If you make your living in the oil and gas industry, the latest decision by a federal judge is not going to sit well with you. The back and forth about oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico has been going on for about a year.
The latest? U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia, Rudolph Cantreras' ruling basically invalidates 1.7 million acres of leases according to CNN. He said in his ruling that even though the sale went through it wasn't valid.
What Was the Timeline of Events?
- In January of 2021, President Biden signs executive order pausing new permits saying saying he wanted a "rigorous review" of the programs.
- In March of 2021, 13 states sue to block Biden's move, and a judge rules in their favor.
- In November of 2021, the oil and gas lease sales go forward.
- January 27, 2022 Judge Cantreras issues a ruling invalidating the sale because the Department of Interior didn't properly analyze the risk of the climate impact of the oil and gas leases.
the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management doesn't need to undo leases--it just must not execute them.
In the CNN report. Contreras basically said "the lease sale was invalid because the Department of Interior's analysis did not fully take into account the climate impacts of the leases........(his) decision found the Biden administration had used outdated modeling when assessing the climate-warming impact of the lease sale, relying on modeling from the Trump administration that concluded that greenhouse gas impacts of not drilling in the gulf would be worse than holding the lease sale--due to increased reliance on foreign oil and gas supply."
So, it's just not going to happen for the groups that bought the leases.
KPEL spoke with Gifford Briggs, Gulf Coast Region Director with the American Petroleum Institute had this to say,
We are reviewing this disappointing decision and considering our options. Offshore energy development plays a critical role in strengthening our nation's economy and energy security.