PAW Applauds the Courts for holding Unelected Bureaucracies to Account

On the same day Biden Administration is forced to hold federal lease sale, Supreme Court rules EPA exceeded its Congressional Authority

June 30, 2022

Casper, Wyo. –

Today, the Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW) issued the following statement in response to both the Q2 2022 BLM Lease Auction and the Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia v. EPA:

While the oil and natural gas industry is continually improving operations and reducing emissions, we believe any federal regulatory framework must be based in legal authority granted by an Act of Congress. The Legislative Branch has long abdicated its duty in passing coherent, meaningful legislation that addresses the most pressing issues of the day. That has opened a void allowing unelected bureaucrats to consolidate decision making power. Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a welcome rebuke of that trend and a step in the right direction to rein in unwieldy agency rules made by those who do not answer to the people.

Justice Gorsuch said it best in his concurring opinion, “The Court acknowledges only that, under our Constitution, the people’s elected representatives in Congress are the decision makers here—and they have not clearly granted the agency the authority it claims for itself.” In other words, the EPA – an agency bent on growing its authority beyond what it was given – was finally and forcefully told no.

While the Court’s decision focused on the EPA – it is far from only agency that has seen increased authority absent Congress action. The Department of Interior, at the direction of an anti-domestic production President, has worked day and night to shut down federal oil and natural gas activity. Despite their efforts, the Courts forced DOI to meet its Congressionally mandated obligations and host the first BLM quarterly lease sale in Wyoming in more than 18 months.

Despite the headwinds from the administration and the BLM’s decision to remove many of the nominated parcels from the sale, Wyoming producers leased 67,628 acres for $12,900,598 – an amount equivalent to more than 840 Americans’ annual federal tax burden. The average price per acre was $229.95 and one lease was sold for $6,018 per acre – generating more revenue than the entire Q2 2020 lease sale. We are pleased that Wyoming will finally see leasing bonus that fund education, public infrastructure and local governments once again.

About PAW: Representing Wyoming’s primary economic engine, the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, is the voice of the oil and gas industry. Our members produce 90% of Wyoming’s oil and gas, generating over $5 billion in economic activity and employing more than 19,000 of Wyoming’s hard-working men and women. PAW strives to foster mutually beneficial relationships with Wyoming’s landowners, businesses, and communities while promoting the sustainable production of Wyoming’s abundant resources.

The Petroleum Association of Wyoming provides a forum for education, interaction, and unified action for members, policymakers, and the public.

Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash