A coalition of nine Louisiana parish governments is petitioning the Biden administration to lift a presidential executive order issued earlier this year to renew oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and other production areas.
The action by the Region 3 membership of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana was taken during a recent meeting hosted by St. Landry Parish government in Opelousas and supports a lower federal court decision in June by Judge Terry Doughty that lifts the administration’s temporary ban on offshore and onshore oil and gas leases.
Region 3 includes governing authorities from West Baton Rouge, St. Martin, Pointe Coupee, Iberville, Lafayette, Iberia, Assumption, St. Mary and St. Landry parishes.
Louisiana, according to the resolution joined 12 other states earlier this year in alleging the executive branch does not have the legal authority to halt the leasing of federal territory for oil and gas production without Congressional consent.
PJAL executive director Guy Cormier said the Region 3 membership realizes the resolution might not have any direct effect on the outcome of the lawsuit or the position of the Biden administration concerning the acquisition of leases offshore, but it was necessary for Region 3 members he said, to take a stand on the issue.
“The oil and gas industry is important for Louisiana. At first the parishes in the region did not take any action on the matter. We were neutral and we voted to not take a position until all of the information was available,” Cormier said in an interview following the meeting which included representation from all Region 3 parishes.
On Jan. 27 the Biden administration issued the executive order which temporarily suspended new oil and gas leases in offshore waters.
At the time representatives of the Biden administration announced that the executive order reflected a Biden campaign promise that aims to attack climate change and wean the country off fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources.
The decision by Doughty according to a published report by the Reuters News Agency remains in effect until the final resolution of the case reopened the sales of numerous unleased blocks of public lands located three of 231 miles offshore in mid-November.
Officials with the U.S. Department of Justice have indicated they plan to appeal the ruling by Doughty, which lifted the temporary injunction.
The Region resolution maintains that the America Offshore Oil and Gas Program located on the outer continental shelf region, has helped along with bi-partisan Congressional support to fund programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Coastal Conservation Association, the Great American Outdoors Ac and the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act.
This article originally appeared on Opelousas Daily World: Nine parish governments support lawsuit, federal judge's decision on oil and gas leases