Joe Biden used his first day in the Oval Office to put a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal lands. Thirteen states quickly sued, citing harm done by the pause on their budgets.
Tuesday evening, Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana granted a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration, effectively blocking the ban. The judge’s decision puts the ball in Biden’s court to decide whether to appeal.
Louisiana led the lawsuit. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a statement, saying “This is a victory not only for the rule of law, but also for the thousands of workers who produce affordable energy for Americans.”
“The President’s Executive Order abandons middle-class jobs, cripples our economy, and hits everyday Americans where it hurts the most – their pocketbooks,” Attorney General Landry continued. “What’s more: it attacks Louisiana’s coast by reducing the revenue and royalties used for coastal restoration and hurricane protection.”
Biden’s executive order may also have contributed to gas prices which have risen by double digits since he demonstrated open hostility to domestic energy production. Biden’s pause on federal leases was not just opposed by the 13 states that joined Louisiana’s lawsuit. Many Democrats and unions opposed it, questioning whether it would benefit the environment at all as Biden claimed, and citing the fact that it would kill jobs and hurt state budgets.