COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – A federal judge has allowed South Carolina’s lawsuit to block offshore drilling to move forward.
United States District Judge Richard Gergel issued a written opinion on Tuesday that keeps the lawsuit alive after the federal government asked that the lawsuit be dismissed.
The case revolves around an executive order from then-President Barack Obama. He issued an executive order withdrawing Outer Continental Shelf Lands from being leased for oil and gas exploration.
President Donald Trump then issued an executive order to undo Obama’s order.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson argued that Congress gave presidents the authority to withdraw land from leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf but did not give presidents the power to reverse that decision and make such areas eligible again from leasing.
Gergel agreed with South Carolina, which allows the lawsuit to proceed.
“I would like to thank Judge Gergel for allowing South Carolina’s claims to go forward,” Wilson said. “This case is vital to South Carolina and its beautiful coastline and natural resources.”