A consortium of oil and gas industry groups said Monday they had sued the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to reverse its decision this year to indefinitely freeze oil and natural gas leasing on federal lands and waters.

federal oil and gas production

In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and 11 other energy industry trade groups called for an end to the moratorium, arguing that federal law requires regular lease sales.

“With the indefinite pause on federal oil and gas leasing, the department failed to satisfy procedural requirements and ignored congressional mandates for holding lease sales,” API Chief Legal Officer Paul Afonso said. “The law is clear: the department must hold lease sales and provide a...