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Wyoming files motion against groups’ claims challenging federal lease sale


CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming has filed a motion to intervene in a pair of cases filed by advocacy groups challenging a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sale held earlier this summer, according to a release from Governor Mark Gordon’s office.

The sale for extraction on federal lands was the first approved since President Joe Biden took office and imposed a moratorium, and fewer parcels were auctioned than originally proposed.

123 of the 173 federal parcels challenged in the suit are located in Wyoming, the release said.

The Wilderness Society and Friends of the Earth filed suit protesting the sale, alleging that it violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Wyoming is countering in both suits, saying that if the suits succeed, the state’s sovereign and economic interests will be adversely affected.

“The filings note that the oil and gas lease sale collected over $13 million in bonus bids, entitling the State to more than $6 million in revenue,” the release said. “In addition, if the lawsuits are successful Wyoming will not receive its share of rentals and federal mineral royalties from the leased parcels.”

Montana, Oklahoma and Utah are also party to one of the suits.

Wyoming’s motions to intervene can be found here and here.