In the wake of the Bureau of Land Management missing the deadline to issue a notice for competitive lease sales, various Wyoming leaders are criticizing the Biden Administration for its apparent refusal to hold lease auctions in Wyoming.

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On Wednesday, the Petroleum Association of Wyoming issued a press release that called out the BLM and the Biden Administration.

"In the same week that the Wyoming Legislature convened the 2022 Budget Session to set the state’s biennial budget, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to issue a notice for competitive lease sale ahead of the 45-day deadline necessary to hold a lease auction in the first quarter of 2022 – a dereliction of duty that will have serious repercussions on Wyoming’s budget and impact funding for infrastructure, public education and other essential government services," the release stated.

Ryan McConnaughey, the Vice President and Director of Communications for the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, said that, previously, lawsuits were filed and one suit was even ruled on, which said that the Biden Administration could no longer issue a nationwide pause on lease sales on federal lands.

"We were under the impression that the BLM was prepared to host that quarterly lease sale in the first quarter of 2022 and, as of today, they have missed the deadline for that 45-day notice deadline," McConnaughey stated.

Read More: Petroleum Association of Wyoming Says BLM Failure Deprives Wyoming of Millions of Dollars in Revenue

PAW, and others, have said the decision to miss this deadline will cost Wyoming millions of dollars across multiple industries, including public infrastructure, K-12 education, the University of Wyoming, and more.

Now, Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis is also criticizing the decision, even alleging that the Biden Administration purposefully missed the deadline.

“'Misses' implies that it was an oversight, a mistake," Lummis said. "The Biden admin didn’t overlook this on their calendar. They made a conscious decision to continue to attack Wyoming and our domestic energy industry in favor of progressive, unrealistic climate policies while Americans continue to pay more at the pump and more to heat their homes."

McConnaughey stated that PAW is currently waiting on a response from BLM and has not decided one way or another whether they will pursue legal recourse.

K2 Radio News reached out to the Bureau of Land Management for comment and received the following response:

“We continue to comply with the injunction entered in Louisiana v Biden and are reviewing recent orders from the district courts in Louisiana. We do not have any updates as to timing of the next steps in the process.”

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