US NEWS: US court overturns decision to block federal oil and gas lease

WASHINGTON, Aug 17 – A U.S. district judge on Wednesday reversed a lower court’s decision to block the Biden administration’s pause on a new oil and gas lease on federal land and waters – a key part of the president’s climate change strategy – and sent the case back to that court for further proceedings.

A judge sitting on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a Louisiana district court’s decision to block the Interior Department’s hiring freeze after Louisiana and a dozen states sued the incumbent administration, arguing they would suffer injuries because of the policy.

President Joe Biden suspended new government leases in January 2021 as part of a sweeping plan to curb fossil fuel mining on federal land and combat the effects of climate change.

The Home Office said last year that it would proceed with the new leases during the appeal process “in accordance with the District Court’s order during the appeal”.

It is currently reviewing the decision, Interior spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said.

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