Governor Gordon Criticizes Interior’s Response to Court Order on Leasing Program

August 25, 2021

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Gordon has responded to a court brief filed by the United States Department of Interior yesterday advising the district court of the next steps in the offshore and onshore oil and gas leasing processes. Interior is currently appealing a June ruling by a federal judge in Louisiana blocking the Biden Administration’s oil and gas leasing “pause”. The Governor issued the following statement:

The Department of Interior’s disrespectful response to the Court's order leaves much to be desired. Wyoming does not believe that Interior is following either the letter or the spirit of the Court's ruling, and certainly continues to violate the law. Interior has only committed to move forward with preliminary scoping for the past canceled lease sales, an action that should have occurred long ago.

From these actions it is clear that Interior has no intention of conducting a lease sale at all this year. That is unacceptable and unlawful. This lackadaisical movement is all the more suspect because the Biden administration has continued to appeal the Court's decision, thus hoping to stop the process should the appeals court give them any reason to do so.

Sadly, none of this recalcitrance does anything to address climate or the environment– it only hurts Western Federal lands states and their citizens. Wyoming's lawsuit is still in progress and we will continue to pursue our legal options to preserve Wyoming's ability to produce federal oil and gas.