A judge blocked oil and gas drilling across almost 500 square miles (1,295 sq. kilometers) in Wyoming and said the U.S. government must consider climate change impacts more broadly as it leases huge swaths of public land for energy exploration.
Companies paid more than $6.5 billion to produce oil, gas, and coal from federal lands and waters in 2017, according to the most recent government figures. The money is split between the federal government and states where the extraction occurs.
“Bringing our country to its knees is not the way to thwart climate change. We need solutions not grandstanding,” said Gordon, Republican Rep.
The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by a pair of environmental conservation groups against the Obama administration in 2016, challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to lease federal lands for energy development in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. It stressed the difference between assessing environmental impacts in isolation and measuring their collective impact.