Crude oil well drilling pump

Trump's oil drilling plans halted by federal judge, 'did not sufficiently consider climate change'

March 20, 2019 - 1:06 pm

WASHINGTON (KFTK) — Oil drilling in Wyoming has been temporarily halted by a federal judge who ruled that the U.S. Department of the Interior did not adequately take the climate into account when authorizing the lease of the land to be used for fossil fuel extraction.

Judge Rudolph Contreras made the decision late Tuesday stating that the Bureau of Land Management “did not sufficiently consider climate change” when choosing to lease land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

Contreras wrote that BLM failed “to provide the information necessary for the public and agency decision makers to understand the degree to which the leasing decision at issue would contribute to those impacts [of climate change].” The National Environmental Policy Act is what requires the public and policymakers to be informed about said decisions.

“Given the national, cumulative nature of climate change, considering each individual drilling project in a vacuum deprives the agency and the public of the context necessary to evaluate oil and gas drilling on federal land before irretrievably committing to that drilling,” he wrote.

This ruling marks the first that the Trump administration has encountered as an obstacle in regards to its agenda on energy, according to the Washington Post. However, the land leases were not rejected completely, as Contreras ordered the BLM to reassess its analysis of projects in the West.

Wyoming is one of the top producers of natural resources in the country, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. For that reason, the state’s fossil fuel industry is likely to feel consequences from this ruling.

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