The U.S. Interior Department ceased new oil and gas lease sales on federal lands and offshore through at least June as officials this week extended a review of the program’s impact on climate change.
Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said it is “exercising its discretion to not hold lease sales” through the second quarter. The action does not affect existing leases.
Federal officials earlier this year suspended or delayed lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and in individual states such as Wyoming following lawsuits from conservation groups that argued drilling causes environmental problems for both people and wildlife.
Thirteen states banded together in March to file a lawsuit in a Louisiana federal court to force...