LAFAYETTE - The oil and natural gas industry is one of the leading industry's in Louisiana in terms of economic impact, taxes paid and employment.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry says all of those benefits are being threatened by an executive order made by The Biden Administration.
Back in January shortly after President Biden's inaguration he made an executive order that put a temporary ban on the selling of leases to parts of land offshore. Attorney General Jeff Landry says Louisiana needs that land in order to keep it's oil and gas industry flourishing.
"Listen Mr. President, you have to abide by the law." said Landry
Attorney General Jeff Landry is suing The Biden Administration. Landry believes that the President's temporary ban on new oil leases on U.S. lands and waters is unconstitutional, attacks fossil fuels and decreases Louisiana's employment rate.
"When you don't drill you deplete your resources. It really hurts our National Security at a time when The United States had finally become energy independent,. Were now going to be dependent on foriegn oil." said Landry
Louisiana Solicitor General Elizabeth Murrill is leading the lawsuit on behalf of Louisiana and 12 other states. Those states include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
Murrill says President Biden is trying to stop enforcing federal law. Now while the ban may be temporary Murrill says the aftermath consist of too many negative aspects that have long lasting consequences.
"It's a continuous system and when you stop the gears from moving you simply stop, basically the entire pipeline of projects. Eventually there will be nothing left." said Murrill
Inside the courtroom U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Michael Sawyer says the temporary halt of lease sales won't effect anyone financially. This because drilling is allowed for current leases which amount to 70% of fundning. In comparison to new leases which only amounts to 2.5% of funding.
"He is violating congressional authorizations and demands and mandates that we explore the resources in The Gulf of Mexico and on other federal lands." said Murrill
On the contrary Sawyer says nothing is being violated. Adding that Landry and his team are suing for land that's auction time had expired. That land now becomes a noncompetitive lease where plaintiff's have given reasons why the land should'nt be sold because of negative climate changes that happened under The Trump Administration.
President Biden's temporary executive ban was implented on January 27th of this year. This ban can last anywhere from 4 to 8 years but The Biden Administration says they have no intention of stretching the ban past one.
Attorney General Jeff Landry says that if today's court hearing does not go in his favor then this will be one of many court hearings. Court hearings that he says he will take all the way to The Supreme Court.
At this time both parties agree that somewhere between 6 and 7 leases have been postponed since President Bidens ban.