Petroleum Association of Wyoming Expands Court Fight Against Anti-Oil and Gas Biden Administration

Petitions seek to protect Wyoming from Regulations Designed to make Oil and Gas more Difficult to Produce

May 16, 2024

Casper, Wyo. – After initial success in two cases against anti-oil and natural gas friends of President Biden late last year, the Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW), along with a coalition of allies from across the country, is challenging the Biden Administration directly over new rules designed to make federal land production even more expensive; a tactic that will undoubtedly push production off federal lands and towards nations with fewer regulations and safety standards. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) methane rule and the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) leasing rule will have profound impacts on the oil and natural gas industry in Wyoming, particularly the small operators that produce one-third of the state’s oil.

“It is no secret that President Biden desires an end to oil and natural gas production on federal lands – his own comments and statements from members of his administration are clear evidence,” said PAW President Pete Obermueller. “PAW stands in the gap against wave after wave of expensive and unnecessary rules coming out of Washington. With our fellow trade associations, we will continue to stand strong for our industry and for the communities that rely on the energy, jobs, tax revenues and community support our members provide.”

The methane rule being challenged by PAW and 21 other trade association allies exceeds the EPA’s authority and puts nearly 350,000 wells and 10% of U.S. production at risk. The case has been consolidated into another case pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia being led by a group of 24 states, including Wyoming.

The BLM leasing rule is being challenge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming by PAW, along with the Western Energy Alliance, Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, North Dakota Petroleum Council, and Utah Petroleum Association. The new burdens placed on federal land leasing states like Wyoming will hit small operators disproportionately. Despite having an $85 million war chest laying idle for reclamation in Wyoming, the BLM is seeking a 1400% increase in the bonding amounts companies will need to front – often out of their own personal savings – before production can begin.

Producers operating in Wyoming concerned about how the new rules will impact them should reach out to PAW at 307.234.5333.