Court hearing: Did Biden legally suspend oil lease sales?

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal attorney says President Joe Biden legally called for suspending new and gas lease sales while considering their effect on climate change, and onshore and offshore sales were legally postponed.

Andrew Bernie told a federal appeals court panel Tuesday that the current offshore leasing plan says the Interior Department secretary may cancel lease offerings because of climate change.

He said land-based sales were postponed to ensure they met environmental law.

Arguing for 13 states, a Louisiana state attorney said laws passed in response to the 1970s oil crisis require lease sales. Joseph Scott St. John said the Biden administration failed to give adequate reasons for postponing or canceling them. The judges did not indicate when they will rule.

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