The Biden administration’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has broad authority to postpone oil and gas lease sales to address environmental concerns, a federal judge ruled in tossing one of several lawsuits filed by industry groups and GOP-led states.

shale rigs

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming last Friday (Sept. 2) ruled that BLM had authority under the Mineral Leasing Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other laws to postpone some 2021 lease sales (No. 2:21-cv-00013-SWS). Petitioners also lacked standing to challenge the sales, Skavdahl wrote.

After taking office early last year, President Biden issued an executive order (EO) directing the Department of the Interior to temporarily pause new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and...