A federal judge in Louisiana late Thursday struck down President Joe Biden's attempt to place restrictions on a forthcoming offshore oil and gas lease sales.
Judge James Cain, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, granted the state and oil companies Chevron and Shell a preliminary injunction to block the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's restrictions, according to Fox News.
The lease sale are set to go into effect next week.
In his ruling, Cain said federal government has to go through with the lease sale by Sept. 30 under the original conditions.
As the result of a settlement with environmental groups in July, BOEM tried to removed about six million acres from the sale and placed various restrictions on oil and gas vessels associated with the leases – auctioned to protect the Rice’s whale species found in the Gulf of Mexico.
"The court observes that plaintiffs have demonstrated substantial potential costs resulting from the challenged provisions," Cain wrote in his decision, according to Fox News. "While the government defendants largely focus on the acreage withdrawal and dynamics of the sale itself, many of plaintiffs’ alleged hardships arise from the vessel restrictions."