Two weeks ago the state of Wyoming filed a lawsuit challenging the moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal lands issued by President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.
We applaud the decision to file suit.
Basically, the suit claims the executive order by the president violates several federal acts including those dealing with environmental issues, administrative procedures and land policy management.
While it is not specifically stated in the lawsuit, the basic premise for the suit is the moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal lands will not protect the climate and will have devastating economic effects on the Wyoming economy.
Gov. Mark Gordon last week outlined the case against the administration, stating the ban on leasing will not meet the climate goals of the administration, as production will shift to other countries that lack the environmental safeguards in place on federal lands in Wyoming.
In addition, Gordon said a recent economic study indicates thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of state revenue will be lost. Those are the millions of dollars that fund education, counties and cities, and state services.
In essence, the administration’s action was an executive order that did little or nothing to protect the environment, but dealt oil and gas producing states a devastating blow and will increase U.S. dependence on foreign, oil-producing countries such as Venezuela, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
It is little wonder Wyoming officials felt it was necessary to file suit to protect the state’s citizens.
Since the moratorium, gasoline prices have been increasing. Proponents of the president’s action may argue gasoline prices are all about supply and demand, not about a moratorium on leasing.
We agree gasoline prices are determined by supply and demand. Therefore, when a moratorium on leasing contributes to a perceived future shortage of supply, the natural consequence is higher prices at the pump.