August 11, 2021 | Bloomberg Law | 1 minute read

Bracewell’s Ann Navaro spoke with Bloomberg Law about a formal environmental review of the federal oil and gas leasing program under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The eventual shape of the NEPA process isn’t yet clear, said Navaro. “It may be that they conduct NEPA reviews, where required, for component actions such as rulemakings and revised resource management plans that govern what onshore public lands are considered available for oil and gas leasing,” Navaro said.

The White House ordered the Interior Department in January to “pause” federal oil and gas leasing to allow for a review of the program in the context of climate change.

The United Nations recently published a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stating the scientific consensus that climate change is unequivocally caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuels. The Biden administration is expected to cite this UN climate report as evidence to support keeping federal oil and gas leasing on pause. The next step is widely expected to be a formal environmental review of the leasing program under NEPA.

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