Wyoming filed a lawsuit last week challenging the de-facto moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land issued by President Biden and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. The suit asserts that Haaland’s implementation of the leasing moratorium contained in Executive Order 14008 is invalid under federal law.

“Following a careful review of not only the President’s executive order, but its practical effect, it is necessary for Wyoming to protect its citizens and challenge the Secretary’s action,” Gov. Mark Gordon said. “Not only is this federal action overreaching, it was implemented without public input as required under federal law.”

The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court of Wyoming and states that the Administration’s action violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Mineral Leasing Act and the Federal Land Policy Management Act. The lawsuit asks the court to set aside the Secretary’s action and require the Bureau of Land Management to resume quarterly oil and gas lease sales, which have been suspended since the order was signed.

Gordon emphasized that Biden’s de-facto ban on oil and gas leasing will not meet the climate goals of the administration, as production will shift to other countries with less stringent emissions standards.

“The world will continue to need and use oil and gas for the foreseeable future,” Gordon said. “The question is whether it will be produced under the environmental safeguards in place on federal lands in Wyoming, or overseas without equally stringent regulations.”

Gordon also said the economic effects to Wyoming will be devastating. A recent economic study indicated that thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of state revenue will be lost in the state.

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