Environmental groups sue Biden over sale of oil, gas leases as US tries to ramp up energy production

Biden administration allowing the sale of oil leases

Updated: July 1, 2022 - 9:32pm

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Environmental groups have filed a class action suit against the Biden administration over its approving the sale of new gas and oil lease in four Western states – as government and business try to find ways to increase domestic energy production to slow soaring gasoline prices.

The leases are the first in since the administration put a freeze on them in January 2021 and are for Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Utah.

The plaintiffs in the suit, filed late Tuesday, argue the deal violates the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, signing into law to protect federal public lands. 

They are also warn the such deal and another series of similar ones in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming will "cost billions in harms to air, water, local wildlife and public health," according to The Hill newspaper.

“In spite of this administration’s climate commitments, the Department of Interior is choosing to resume oil and gas leasing," Melissa Hornbein, a senior attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center, said Wednesday. "The very least the BLM could do is acknowledge the connected nature of these six lease sales and their collective impact on federal lands and the earth’s climate." 

Hornbein told Just the News on Thursday that the case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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