President Joe Biden came into office last year with the clear intention of repealing his predecessor’s efforts to increase the nation’s energy independence. One of his first executive acts involved pausing the sale of oil and gas leases in energy-rich states across the United States.
Now, the Republican governor of Wyoming is once again taking the administration to court in a bid to open up the land for drilling that would provide high-paying American jobs while reducing the cost of gas and other types of energy.
In a statement accompanying his lawsuit, Gov. Mark Gordon explained that his state’s natural resources “can help power the nation and bring down costs as the pump,” adding that the Bureau of Land Management’s “decision to cancel lease sales sure seems to be a violation of both the letter and the spirit of the law.”
The governor concluded that the move “was politically driven and not based in law or fact.”
While we’re selling our reserves, the Biden Administration is standing in the way of responsible oil development. Why raid the bank when we can produce it here and avoid compromising national security? https://t.co/itNQP9nTvc
— Governor Mark Gordon (@GovernorGordon) September 21, 2022
Wyoming previously sued the Biden administration last year on a related issue after oil and gas leasing was curtailed in the state. That dispute ended with a court ruling that U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland did not violate the law, though it did not provide a decision on other lease interruptions.
As a result of that gap in the previous court decision, Wyoming is suing over the fact that the disruptions extended through the third quarter of 2022.
Gordon’s office declared that the BLM “went 18 months without a single oil and gas lease sale and has yet to resume regularly scheduled quarterly lease sales.”
Although gas prices have moderated slightly in recent months, the cost of a gallon of fuel in June was more than double the average price when Biden entered office.
Aside from Gordon, a number of other Republicans have criticized the White House’s policies for leading to higher energy costs.
Earlier this year as gas prices hovered around $5 per gallon, a group of GOP lawmakers held a press conference essentially blaming the Biden administration for the situation.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) urged the president not to “expend a massive carbon footprint” flying to beg foreign leaders to increase their oil supply.
“Just fly right down to any part of the United States, like Port Fourchon, where the answer will be yes to clean American energy,” he said. “We know the answers.”