NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana and a dozen other states are suing the Biden administration to end a suspension of oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.

Louisiana's Republican Attorney General, Jeff Landry, announced the federal lawsuit Wednesday. The suit also seeks a court order that the government go ahead with two offshore lease sales that had been set for this year. One in the Gulf of Mexico had been set for March 17 until the administration canceled it. Another had been planned this year for Alaska's Cook Inlet.

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia are the other plaintiff states.

In a press release, AG Landry had this to say:

By executive fiat, Joe Biden and his administration have single-handedly driven the price of energy up – costing the American people where it hurts most, in their pocketbooks,” said Attorney General Landry. “Biden’s Executive Orders abandon middle-class jobs at a time when America needs them most and put our energy security in the hands of foreign countries, many of whom despise America’s greatness.”

The lawsuit states, 'The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and Mineral Leasing Act set out specific statutory duties requiring executive agencies to further the expeditious and safe development of the abundant energy. In compliance with those statutes, the Department of the Interior has for decades issued leases for the development of oil and natural gas on public lands and offshore waters.'

“For decades, Congress has embraced responsible development of our natural resources as a means of achieving energy independence – a matter of national security,” continued Attorney General Landry. “They have discarded vulnerable dependence on foreign oil, which is why the court should reject the Biden Ban.”

(Story written by KEVIN McGILL/AP)

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