Ruling clears Biden's 2021 pause on new oil, gas leases

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A judge's order that forced the Biden administration to resume sales of oil and gas leases on federal land and waters has been lifted by a federal appeals court.

    It was a victory for President Joe Biden but the immediate effect was unclear.

    The much-heralded climate bill Biden signed into law Tuesday provides for new drilling opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska and mandates new lease sales in coming months.

    Biden had postponed new sales soon after taking office in 2021 amid worries about climate changing emissions from burning the fuels.

    A federal judge in Louisiana later blocked the policy.

    The appeals court said Wednesday the judge's reasons were unclear and sent the case back.

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