A legal advisor for the trade group, Paul Afonso, described the drilling ban:
- as an indefinite one, the federal government is ignoring congressional mandates that require lease sales for drilling on federal territory
- The law is clear: the department must hold lease sales and provide a justification for significant policy changes
- They have yet to meet these requirements in the eight months since instituting a federal leasing pause, which continues to create uncertainty for US natural gas and oil producers
Testifying before the House Committee on Natural Resources, US interior secretary Deb Haaland said the federal government would «follow the decision of the court», pending a judicial review across several agencies.
But that was early this year.
The US Interior Department, which handles leases, has made very few announcements this year apart from sanctioning various offshore wind and solar energy projects.
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.