Court issues injunction regarding Biden’s oil and gas leasing moratorium

Fox Business reports that a court has just put a stop to President Joe Biden’s moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing. 

A permanent injunction was granted by U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on Thursday. Judge Terry Doughty essentially found that Biden lacked the authority, under the relevant laws, to issue such a moratorium.

“The Court finds Section 208 of Executive Order 14008 is ultra vires, beyond the authority of the President of the United States, and in violation of the OCSLA and the MLA,” Doughty wrote. “Even the President cannot make significant changes to the OCSLA and/or the MLA that Congress did not delegate.”

OCSLA refers to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and MLA refers to the Mineral Leasing Act. Both acts govern the issue of leasing on federal lands.

Biden’s order

This legal battle has been ongoing essentially since Biden took office, in January of 2021.

Shortly after entering the White House, Biden issued the executive order cited by Doughty – Executive Order 14008. This executive order is called the “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”

In the order, Biden calls upon the Department of the Interior (DOI) to place a pause on the leasing of federal land for oil and gas while the department conducts a review of the leasing program.

That title of the executive order tells you just about everything you need to know about the motivation behind the order: it was in furtherance of the left’s climate change agenda.

It was less than two months after Biden issued the executive order that a coalition of 13 states challenged it in court. Initially, Doughty issued a preliminary injunction, which led to an appeal from the Biden administration. At the appellate level, the case ran into a procedural issue that sent it back to Doughty, which is what led to the permanent injunction.

“Flatly illegal”

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R) celebrated Doughty’s decision on Thursday.

“President Biden’s executive order to choke off energy development didn’t just increase prices and hurt American families — it was flatly illegal,” Knudsen said. “This decision is a victory for the rule of law and the workers and the rural communities who depend on the energy industry.”

The big question now is whether this will be the end of Biden’s moratorium altogether. The answer remains to be seen. It does appear that the Biden administration will appeal Doughty’s permanent injunction.

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