LAS VEGAS — On Monday, August 16, the U.S. Department of Interior announced it has challenged a ruling from early June that temporarily blocked the suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water and in the interim will continue with onshore and offshore drilling on public lands.
The Biden administration’s directive to pause on new oil and gas leasing permits on public lands during the first weeks in office served as a critical first step in phasing out future fossil fuels that are responsible for a large portion of greenhouse gas emissions and renewing our country’s leadership in fighting the climate crisis.
In response to the recent announcement, Nevada Conservation League Executive Director Paul Selberg released the following statement:
Oil and gas drilling on public lands is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The Department of the Interior (DOI) returning to issuing onshore and offshore oil and gas leases is disappointing and will only exacerbate climate impacts already causing permanent damage to the health of our public lands, waters, wildlife, and communities.
The decision to continue leasing does not reflect the values of Nevadans, whose Senators have modeled strong federal leadership in modernizing the federal oil and gas leasing program to protect public lands and taxpayers. We urge Congress to take action on Senator Cortez Masto’s legislation to end speculative leasing on lands with low drilling potential and Senator Rosen’s bill to ensure taxpayers get a fair return for leases for oil and gas development on public lands.”