Eleanor Hildebrandt | August 26, 2021
The temporary halt of onshore and offshore gas and oil development created by the Biden administration could see a restart in coming weeks.
The Interior Department is planning to make significant steps to begin leasing opportunities again, a court filing said on Tuesday. The decision comes after U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty ordered the pause to end in June 2021. The pause started when President Joe Biden began a halt at the very beginning of his time in office. The case Doughty ruled on had a few Republican state attorneys general as plaintiffs. The group, led by Louisiana’s Attorney General Jeff Landry, complained to the district court judge that the Biden administration and federal government were not moving fast enough to comply with the order.
In response to the plaintiffs’ concerns, the Interior Department said it would take “the programs’ documented deficiencies” into account, according to Iowa Capital Dispatch. The department is also expected to announce recommendations for how reform of the programs can meet the Biden administration’s climate change goals.
NPR called the original executive order that halted leasing to slow down the United States’ contribution to climate change “much-anticipated.” The move began as one of many efforts to address the worsening climate issues. During press conferences regarding the executive action, Biden reiterated that he does not plan to ban fracking during his presidency.