A federal judge has invalidated a rule from the Biden administration that would have imposed significant limitations on the upcoming offshore oil and gas lease sale. This decision was made evident in an order released on Thursday.
In a ruling delivered on Thursday evening, Judge James Cain of the Western District of Louisiana has instructed the Biden administration to broaden its forthcoming sale of Gulf of Mexico oil leases, slated for later this month. This action was taken in response to a lawsuit filed by the state of Louisiana, the American Petroleum Institute group, Chevron, and Shell, seeking to halt the restrictions imposed by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Lease Sale 261, which was originally scheduled for next week.
The judge has decreed that the sale must proceed under its initial terms and conditions and must be completed by September 30th.
“The court observes that plaintiffs have demonstrated substantial potential costs resulting from the challenged provisions,” Judge Cain wrote. “While the government defendants largely focus on the acreage withdrawal and dynamics of the sale itself, many of plaintiffs’ alleged hardships arise from the vessel restrictions.”
The judge found that the plaintiffs have demonstrated a “likelihood that these