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June 16, 2021

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Attorney General Steve Marshall Announces Court Win Against Biden
Administration That Lifts Ban on New Oil and Gas Drilling on Federal Lands

(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that in response to a lawsuit filed by Alabama and 12 other states, a U.S. District Court in Louisiana has ordered the Biden administration to lift its ban on all new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits on federal lands.

“Only a week after President Biden took office, he issued an executive order pausing new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits on federal lands, including in the Gulf of Mexico – a move that threatens America’s energy independence,” said Attorney General Marshall. “After Alabama and 12 other states sued the Biden administration to remove its illegal drilling moratorium, the district court ruled in our favor, granting a preliminary injunction of the Biden ban on new oil and gas drilling.

“The court order is a victory in our battle to put the brakes on the far-left climate agenda embraced by President Biden that not only ignores America’s energy security, but also violates federal law. This win should send a signal to the anti-fossil-fuel activists within the Biden administration that Americans want a reasoned and balanced approach to energy development that keeps our nation energy independent and our economy strong.”

The Biden executive order claims to protect the environment. Instead, it constitutes what is likely the single-largest divestment of revenue for environmental-protection projects in American history, as significant portions of the oil and gas leasing fees go toward funding projects that protect the environment. Making matters worse, the agencies implementing the executive order – the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Land
Management – rushed to stop long-planned lease sales without any consideration whether the Biden ban complies with the law, the public good, or the procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Many states, including Alabama, are entitled to significant portions of the proceeds from Outer Continental Shelf leasing and production. The Mineral Leasing Act has similar provisions for onshore oil and gas development. These laws affirm Congress’ intent to responsibly use our own resources as a means of achieving energy independence. Additionally, the oil and gas leases provide significant environmental benefits because portions of the lease proceeds, amounting to billions of dollars, are returned to the states and invested into vital environmental defense and restoration projects.

The district court order can be read here.
The 13-state lawsuit against the Biden administration can be read here.

[To access links, click the PDF icon at upper right of press release]