FRANKFORT, KY – Attorney General Daniel Cameron took action on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 to address rising energy prices in Kentucky and across the nation. The Attorney General joined an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit arguing that environmental groups are wrongly using federal law to stall the lease of 80.8 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for drilling of oil and gas.
The brief, co-signed by 14 states, argues that environmental groups are trying to weaponize a federal law, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), to stall legal oil and gas development. Lease 257, the lease at issue in the case, is the largest offshore lease sale in U.S. history. The lease sale was approved by the Trump Administration but was later included in the Biden Administration’s oil and gas leasing moratorium, which is enjoined by court order. After a court blocked the Biden Administration’s unlawful moratorium, a group of environmental activists nevertheless sought to block Lease 257 in a federal court in D.C. The district court in D.C. ruled in favor of the environmental groups and held that Lease 257 cannot be pursued because of an alleged violation of NEPA.
“Gas prices have more than doubled since President Biden took office, and his administration tried to suspend the very oil and gas lease sale at issue in this important case,” said Attorney General Cameron. “We’re taking action at every turn to lower the cost of energy for Kentuckians, including filing this brief to stop environmental groups from weaponizing federal law as a means to halt domestic energy production.”
The attorneys general note in their brief that they “seek to protect oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the United States” and “ … to stop abuses of environmental statutes such as NEPA that have become antithetical to their original purpose and are now used to the detriment of the American people.”
View the brief here.