Joe Biden’s administration has been hit with another lawsuit, this time to the tune of $80 million, for ‘unlawfully canceling oil and gas leasing.’
The lawsuit was filed by the state of North Dakota after gas and oil leasing auctions in the state were cancelled by federal agencies.
“Late yesterday afternoon, North Dakota sued the Federal government, including the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Land Management, because BLM has unlawfully canceled the regularly scheduled auctions of oil & gas leases of public mineral rights in North Dakota that BLM is required by federal law to hold. ‘I have taken this action to protect North Dakota’s economy, the jobs of our hard-working citizens, and North Dakota’s rights to control its own natural resources’ said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem,” the North Dakota Attorney General’s office said in a press release.
“Without following the legally required procedures, BLM arbitrarily canceled the March and June lease auctions and shows every sign of continuing to violate its statutory duties. Due to North Dakota’s unique ‘split estate’ land and mineral rights structure, BLM’s illegal actions have disrupted the State’s programs for efficiently managing the State’s resources and are blocking the development of significant State and private mineral interests. Stenehjem says that the cancellation of the March and June auctions will cost the State over $80 million in lost revenues, a number that could grow to into billions in the coming months unless BLM’s illegal cancellations are stopped.
“This lawsuit was filed shortly after a Federal court in Louisiana preliminarily enjoined a BLM lease cancellation policy on June 15. ‘I welcome and support the Louisiana federal district court’s decision,’ Stenehjem said, ‘and I look forward to defending North Dakota’s vital interests in its natural resources and continuing to put the pressure on the Federal government to do the right thing for our state,’” it said.
It comes after a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the Biden administration’s halt to oil and gas leasing on publica lands and waters in June.
The lawsuit also comes after the Biden administration was hit with a whopping $15 billion lawsuit for cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Upon his inauguration to office, one of Biden’s first executive orders was to shut down the construction of the Keystone XL extension to the pipeline that had been well under construction during Trump’s term in office.
Biden canceled the 1,200-mile-long pipeline, which would have allowed up to 800,000 barrels of oil to be transported per day, which is currently transported via roadways and rail.
Biden’s move to shut down its construction caused TC Energy to fire 1,000 workers and deprive thousands more of jobs in the coming years.
“TC Energy will be seeking to recover more than $15 billion in damages that it has suffered as a result of the U.S. Government’s breach of its NAFTA obligations,” the firm announced in a statement on July 2, following Biden’s executive order in January. “The Notice of Intent was filed with the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser.”
TC Energy says that in addition to the jobs they had to immediately cut, the decision to shut down its construction prevented around 48,000 new jobs from being created.
“We are a vital part of everyday life — delivering the energy millions of people rely on to power their lives in a sustainable way,” they added. “Guided by our core values of safety, responsibility, collaboration, and integrity, our 7,500 people make a positive difference in the communities where we operate across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.”
Keystone XL president Richard Prior slammed Biden’s decision to cancel the pipeline as it would severely hamper the country’s push for sustainable energy, allowing the United States to have immediate access to gas without relying on Middle Eastern oil.
“I believe this will send a concerning signal to infrastructure developers that resonates far beyond our project and will stifle innovation for a practical transition toward sustainable energy,” he said in January.
Author: Carmine Sabia
Source: Conservative Brief: Joe Biden’s Administration Hit With Massive $80 Million Lawsuit For Cancelling Oil And Gas Leasing