An Obama Judge Blows Up Offshore Leases, And It’s Suspicious
This got our antennae perked up, because we smell a major rat here. The thing is, this leftist judge might very well be correct as a matter of law thanks a procedural “screw-up” by the Biden administration.
Here’s a release from the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association this morning…
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras invalidated the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in the nation’s history, cancelling 1.7 million acres of drilling leases.
One of President Biden’s first actions in office was to ban new oil and gas drilling on lands and waters owned by the federal government. But after a Louisiana judge struck down the moratorium last summer, administration officials said they were forced to go through with the sale in November.
In response to yesterday’s ruling, Louisiana Oil & Gas Association President Mike Moncla released the following statement:
“Judge Contreras’ decision to ‘throw out’ the last lease sale is disappointing for industry, but even a bigger blow to the American consumer.
This administration continues to make decisions that increase energy costs on Americans.
In just one year in office, President Biden’s energy policies (or lack thereof) have more than doubled oil, natural gas and gasoline prices.
LOGA will continue to fight for actual policy that puts Americans to work while also providing affordable, reliable, and abundant energy to our nation.”
The AP piece on Contreras’ ruling indicates that the Biden administration, which didn’t want to conduct the lease sale in the first place, violated the National Environmental Policy Act because it didn’t calculate carbon emissions from drilling wells in the Gulf. They went with old emissions modeling that the government doesn’t use anymore and came up with numbers the judge didn’t like.
In his 68-page ruling, Contreras, whom President Barack Obama nominated to the court, said Interior failed to consider the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the lease sale, violating the National Environmental Policy Act, a bedrock environmental law.
“Barreling full-steam ahead with blinders on was simply not a reasonable action for BOEM to have taken here,” he said, referring to Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Environmental reviews of the lease auction — conducted under former President Donald Trump and affirmed under Biden — reached the unlikely conclusion that extracting and burning more oil and gas from the Gulf would result in fewer climate-changing emissions than leaving it.
Similar claims in two other cases, in Alaska, were rejected by federal courts after challenges from environmentalists.
Federal officials have since changed their emissions modeling methods but said it was too late to use that approach for the November auction.
This smells so much like a put-up job it’s hard to ignore. We already know that the Biden administration can’t be given the benefit of the doubt on much of anything, and we also know that pretty much everybody in that administration is a shameless liar.
In other words, they didn’t want to conduct a lease sale, but after Jeff Landry and a number of other state attorneys general successfully sued the administration and forced them to hold one last fall, they deliberately set terms they knew would get invalidated by an Obama judge as a means of holding up offshore oil drilling.
Biden promised the environmental-nut and climate-change cult special interests who elected him that he would kill offshore drilling in the United States. Losing in court on that promise wasn’t going to stop him; that’s clear. This is somebody who publicly said the federal government didn’t have the constitutional power to mandate that people take the COVID vaccine or wear a mask, and then he tried to impose that anyway.
They’re lawless, and they know all the tricks to avoid obeying the law.
Let’s not pretend this was a mistake. This was deliberate, and it was done in bad faith.
It wouldn’t be out of line if the oil and gas industry declared a general strike in response and brought the country to its knees and the Biden administration to abject ruin. But that won’t happen; the big oil companies are making campaign donations to Democrats who openly hate them now. They’re used to getting abused and almost like it now.
But that doesn’t make this right. Not for the thousands of ordinary Americans who have seen their well-paying jobs working offshore go up in smoke thanks to the federal government’s maladministration.
Contreras is no hero, but we don’t think he’s a particular villain in this case. This is the Biden Swamp’s doing.