LAS VEGAS — On Tuesday, a federal judge in Louisiana temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water. The injunction dampens concerted efforts around a nationwide shift away from fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stave off the worst effects of the climate crisis.
The decision comes as the U.S. Department of the Interior conducts a comprehensive review of the federal oil and gas leasing program and further emphasizes the urgent need to modernize the program.
In response to the recent ruling, Nevada Conservation League Executive Director Paul Selberg released the following statement:
“The Biden administration’s pause on oil and gas leasing permits was an important first step in phasing out future fossil fuel development and renewing our country’s leadership in fighting the climate crisis.
The oil and gas industry has taken advantage of an outdated leasing system for decades, causing permanent damage to the health of our public lands, waters, wildlife, and communities. This recent decision calls on our administration to take aggressive action to overhaul the federal oil and gas program to better protect our outdoor spaces, natural resources, and public health.
Nevada’s Senators have modeled strong federal leadership in rebuilding and modernizing the federal oil and gas leasing program. We are grateful to Senator Cortez Masto for reintroducing legislation to end speculative leasing on lands with low drilling potential and to Senator Rosen for championing policies to ensure taxpayers get a fair return for leases for oil and gas development on public lands.
We will continue to stand up for Nevada’s valued outdoor spaces and safeguard the efficient management of our public lands in a manner that benefits our communities.”