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North Dakota is suing the Biden administration over its halting of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water. The shutdown will cause significant damage to the state’s economy, and North Dakota has already lost tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday with the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota Western Division, asserts that President Joe Biden’s suspension of lease sales in North Dakota is unlawful. The complaint claims the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management illegally halted oil and gas lease auctions in the state.
“Oil and gas production are central to North Dakota’s economy and the welfare of its citizens, responsible for 54% of the value of the State’s economy, generating approximately 76% of the State’s tax revenue and creating approximately 66,000 good-paying jobs in the State,” the complaint states.
Biden halted oil and gas lease sales once he entered office in January, citing climate change concerns as the reason for shutting down the leasing.