Senators press Interior Secretary Haaland on oil lease pause

    U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

    Washington (AP) - Both Republican and Democratic senators are pressing Interior Secretary Deb Haaland for answers after a federal court blocked the Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.

    The ruling by a Louisiana judge Tuesday came after President Joe Biden shut down oil and gas lease sales from the nation’s vast public lands and waters in his first days in office, citing worries about climate change.

    Haaland said the department is reviewing the judge’s ruling and consulting with the Justice Department.

    Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told Haaland she expects to hear her plans to resume the lease sales.

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