Almost immediately upon taking the oath of office, President Biden signed Executive Order No. 14008 (EO 14008 or EO). Among other actions, EO 14008 (available HERE) “paused” oil and natural gas development on federal public lands and in offshore waters of the United States. (See EO 14008 HERE).

In response to EO 14008, fourteen states and numerous energy industry groups filed combined and individual federal lawsuits challenging the EO. The complaint filed by a coalition of 13 states—including Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia—alleged that both the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)—the federal agencies which were tasked with implementing the EO—had “…failed to consider whether [the EO] complies with statutory requirements, the public good, or the procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act…[and]…entirely ignored the obligation to consult with States or Tribes.” (Louisiana et al v. Biden et al; Case 2:21-cv-00778; See multi-state Complaint HERE). The state of Wyoming filed its own suit, within the federal district court for the District of Wyoming (Wyoming v. DOI; Case No. 0:21-cv-00056-ABJ; See Petition for Review Here), as did the Western Energy Alliance and the Petroleum Association of Wyoming (Western Energy Alliance v. Biden et al; Case No. 0:21-cv-00013-SWS; See Petition for Review Here).    

This week, multiple environmental activist groups and a number of outdoor related businesses filed motions to intervene in the Wyoming federal suits. (See Western Energy Alliance Motion to Intervene HERE and State of Wyoming Motion to Intervene HERE). It seems highly likely that additional parties, including environmental activist groups, will also seek to intervene in the 13-state suit.

News stories related to both EO 14008 and the ongoing litigation can be found via the following links:

J.R. Parker contributed to this article.