PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 11, 2021 


We reflect and update as HIV/AIDS first came to national attention 40 years ago this month; and when it comes to infrastructure spending, bipartisanship isn't dead yet.


2021Talks - June 11, 2021 


President Biden offers up more COVID-19 vaccines to the world; Dems and GOP close in on an infrastructure deal; and Speaker Pelosi tries to quell a spat over the Middle East among Democrats.

Legal Battle Expands Over Oil/Gas Lease Pause

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

During the Trump administration, oil and gas companies acquired more than 7,000 federal drilling permits and stockpiled more than 13 million acres of oil and gas leases on public lands. (Nicholas A. Tonelli/Flickr)
During the Trump administration, oil and gas companies acquired more than 7,000 federal drilling permits and stockpiled more than 13 million acres of oil and gas leases on public lands. (Nicholas A. Tonelli/Flickr)
 By Eric Galatas - Producer, Contact
April 26, 2021

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- A legal battle is unfolding over the Biden administration's pause on oil and gas lease sales on public lands.

Wyoming and industry groups filed lawsuits to block the move in federal court, and last week 21 farmers, ranchers, conservation, recreation and tribal groups countered with a suit defending the administration's efforts to determine if leasing unfairly benefitted companies over taxpayers and the need to mitigate climate change.

Eric E. Huber, managing attorney for the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program, said fossil-fuel development on public lands is a major contributor of climate pollution.

"So roughly a quarter of the United States' contribution to greenhouse gases that cause climate change are coming from oil and gas and coal and other things coming from our public lands," Huber explained.

Conservationists said the pause also is a necessary step toward addressing the disproportionate health impacts from air pollution on low-income and communities of color. Opponents claim the move will lead to job loss and hurt state and local economies.

Thirteen states also filed suit in a Louisiana federal court arguing regular lease sales are required by law.

The administration's pause to review the leasing program does not affect the oil and gas industry's current stockpile of some 13 million acres of public-land leases, many purchased for as little as two dollars an acre.

Huber noted the pause for new leases will not disrupt current fossil-fuel production.

"The industry has thousands of leases already locked up," Huber pointed out. "So there is not going to be an immediate effect in terms of loss of jobs or stopping any ongoing fracking."

Huber added oil and gas leasing also prevents other uses on lands owned by all Americans, including recreation, tourism and other sustainable economies he believes benefit communities far more in the long run.

The Biden administration is expected to release an interim report on its review of the leasing program this summer.

Disclosure: Sierra Club, Wyoming Chapter contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, and Energy Policy. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Best Practices