A federal judge from the Western District in Louisiana issued an order preventing the President and the Department of Interior (DOI) from changing the lease policies.
These policies involved new sales of federal leases and the issuance of leases determined by the previously held competitive bidding.
The judge’s decision came as a result of joint action of thirteen U.S. states: West Virginia, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas, Alaska, and Alabama.
The joint suit was initiated by Louisiana’s Attorney General Jeff Landry.
Stopping the lease policies
Following the federal court’s decision, Landry issued a statement in which he described the outcome as a victory for both the rule of law and workers who provide American citizens with affordable energy.
Louisiana’s Attorney General added that President Biden’s Executive Order 14008 (as it is called) presented a significant threat to middle-class jobs, at the same time hurting the American economy and the pocketbooks of everyday Americans.
Landry even pointed out that the order endangered the safety of the Louisiana coast by reducing the number of funds that could be used for hurricane protection and coastal restoration.
However, the judgment is yet to be finally settled.
The government can appeal first to the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans and, if it does not succeed, it can seek resolution before the Supreme Court.
Possible effects of the order
Government order could have detrimental effects on the economies of coastal states of Texas and Louisiana, as well other states economically tied to these two.
Issuing the new leases in the Federal Offshore, the production in which accounts for around 15 percent of crude oil in the U.S., would effectively stop any exploration in the area.
Furthermore, much of the sum dedicated to coastal restoration, particularly in Louisiana, would have to be cut.
Some estimates point to the figure of $57 million as a sum Louisiana would lose by being denied the support from GOMESA funds it had participated in since 2006.
If Biden’s order comes into effect, it could also affect the price of oil.
The current average gasoline price is estimated at around $2.97, which is around a dollar more than six months ago.
The crude oil price also rose around 50 percent.
Biden’s executive order would further stimulate the pricing trend these products already experience.
Finally, many commentators expressed their worries about the scope of power President Biden attempted at exhibiting with the issuance of such an order.
They raised concerns about President Biden’s seeming willingness to curtail the energy independence all American administrations have fostered since the end of the Second World War.