Description: Lawsuit challenging the Biden administration's moratorium on oil and gas leasing.
North Dakota v. U.S. Department of the Interior
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/14/2022 Order Download Motion for immediate mandamus relief denied. North Dakota Federal Court Declined to Order Biden Administration to Hold Lease Sales. In a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s pause on oil and gas leasing, the federal district court for the District of North Dakota denied without prejudice North Dakota’s requests that the court order the federal defendants to hold lease sales in 2021. The court agreed with the federal defendants that it could not enforce the nationwide preliminary injunction granted by the federal district court for the Western District of Louisiana barring implementation of a “pause” on federal oil and gas leasing. The North Dakota court also found that “the circumstances of this case are not so extraordinary as to require the extraordinary relief afforded by a writ of mandamus at this time.” The court said “a fully developed factual record” was necessary to resolve disagreements over whether the pause on oil and gas lease sales was necessary to overhaul the NEPA analysis in response to court decisions by the district court in the District of Columbia. The court found that the request that the defendants hold all past and future sales was premature and also noted that the defendants had provided assurances that the process to start oil and gas leasing sales in North Dakota was imminent. 08/23/2021 Motion Download Motion for immediate mandamus relief filed by North Dakota. 07/07/2021 Complaint Download Complaint filed. North Dakota Challenged Oil and Gas Leasing Moratorium. The State of North Dakota filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of North Dakota seeking review of the Biden administration’s moratorium on federal oil and gas lease sales. North Dakota asserted violations of the Mineral Leasing Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, NEPA, and the Administrative Procedure Act. The State asked the court to compel the federal defendants to hold quarterly lease sales and to prohibit the defendants from canceling lease sales in North Dakota. Two other lawsuits had previously been filed to challenge the pause on leasing, and the Western District of Louisiana issued an order in June blocking the pause on new onshore and offshore leasing.