'Triumph for Our Climate': Judge Blocks Fracking on 300,000 Acres of Public Land

A federal judge late Tuesday temporarily blocked fracking on over 300,000 acres in Wyoming, ruling the Interior Department illegally failed to consider the climate impact of leasing public land to oil and gas developers.

“With the science mounting that we need to aggressively rein in greenhouse gases, this ruling is monumental.”
—Kyle Tisdel, Western Environmental Law Center

“This ruling is a triumph for our climate,” Jeremy Nichols, director of WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program, said in a statement.

“To limit greenhouse gas emissions, we have to start keeping our fossil fuels in the ground and putting an end to selling public lands for fracking,” added Nichols. “This decision is a critical step toward making that happen.”

U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras’ landmark decision was focused on the Trump administration’s land sales in Wyoming, but environmentalists said the ruling could have national implications.

“It calls into question the legality of the Trump administration’s entire oil and gas program,” Nichols told the Washington Post. “This forces them to pull their head out of the sand and look at the bigger picture.”