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U.S. Ordered to Halt Oil, Gas Drilling in Swath of Wyoming

  • Judge faults government on assessment of climate change impact
  • Court orders a re-examination, stops short of voiding leases
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Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg
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The Trump administration’s pro-drilling policy took a blow when a federal judge ordered a halt to oil and gas exploration on more than 300,000 acres in Wyoming, saying the government must account for its cumulative effect on global climate change.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by a pair of environmental conservation groups against the Obama administration in 2016, challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to lease federal lands for energy development in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. It stressed the difference between assessing environmental impacts in isolation and measuring their collective impact.