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Judge Temporarily Blocks Drilling in Wyoming

A federal judge in Wyoming has temporarily halted drilling on 300,000 acres of leases in Wyoming, ruling the Interior Department violated federal law by not addressing the impact of climate change. The decision, issued March 19 by U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, was the result of a case brought by two advocacy groups, WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility who allege Trump Administration policies are helping to fuel climate change.

PESA Members who attended the 2019 Washington DC Fly-In know first-hand that climate change is an important part of conversations all over Capitol Hill, and the drilling block could have wide-reaching implications for the Trump Administration’s plan to increase domestic fossil fuel production.

While the leases were not cancelled, Judge Contreras has ordered BLM to reexamine hundreds of projects in the state. Activist groups have threatened to block lease auctions scheduled for later this month if the Administration does not reveal how its policies are contributing to climate change in the U.S.

PESA will continue to monitor this issue and communicate with Member Companies about possible actions. If you have any questions, please contact PESA Vice President Government Affairs Tim Tarpley.