March 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge blocked drilling on more than 300,000 acres of federal land in Wyoming, saying officials in their environmental analyses failed to adequately consider the climate change impacts of oil and gas leasing.
The ruling, by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Rudolph Contreras, was issued late on Tuesday, according to court documents.
The Department of Interior, which is the defendant in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. DOI oversees the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is responsible for oil and gas development on federal lands.
“Having reviewed the record and the relevant law, the Court concludes that — withholding judgment on whether BLM’s leasing decisions were correct — BLM did not sufficiently consider climate change when making those decisions,” Judge Contreras wrote in the order.
Reporting by Nichola Groom Editing by Chizu Nomiyama