Petroleum Association of Wyoming Welcomes Dismissal of Radical Lawsuit

Out-of-state, anti-oil and natural gas environmental groups sought to vacate every Application for Permit to Drill issued in Wyoming since 2021

November 1, 2023

Casper, Wyo. –

Casper, Wyo. – The Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW), representing Wyoming’s primary economic driver, has welcomed a decision by the Honorable U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, District of Columbia, to dismiss Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians v. Department of Interior, Debra Haaland, Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning for lack of standing by the plaintiffs. Judge Chutkan ruled that the environmental activist groups that filed the suit failed to establish any specific harm from the issuance of individual permits.

Had the case been upheld approximately 900 Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) issued since 2021 would have been vacated (plus more in New Mexico), dealing significant harm to Wyoming’s oil and natural gas industry. Additionally, the plaintiffs sought to enjoin any new permits pending the outcome of the case.

“This is welcome news for an industry that has had to weather an onslaught of opposition from those who wish to shut us down,” said PAW President Pete Obermueller. “Vacating 900 APDs in Wyoming would have wreaked havoc on Wyoming’s economy, our schools and communities from Gillette to Pinedale and Cheyenne to Wapiti which is why PAW intervened in this case on behalf of every Wyoming resident.”

Wyoming is the second largest producers of both oil and natural gas on federal lands. Any attempt to halt operations on federal lands would have an outsized impact on Wyoming. In 2022, Wyoming’s oil and natural gas industry:

  • Contributed $2.72 billion to state and local government operations, including $1.39 billion to K-12 education
  • Paid 51% of all property taxes and 80% of all severance taxes in Wyoming
  • Supported 58,780 jobs and $5.7 billion in labor income in the state

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 directly employing more than 20,000 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 Wesley Tingey on Unsplash