WASHINGTON - A federal judge ruled late Tuesday that the Interior Department violated federal law by failing to take into account the climate impact of its oil and gas leasing out west.

The decision by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Rudolph Contreras marks the first time the Trump administration has been held to account for the climate impact of its energy dominance agenda, and it could have sweeping implications for the president's plan to boost fossil fuel production across the country. Contreras concluded that Interior's Bureau of Land Management "did not sufficiently consider climate change" when making decisions to auction off federal land in Wyoming to oil and gas drilling. The judge temporarily blocked drilling on roughly 300,000 acres of land in the state.

The initial ruling in the case brought by two advocacy groups, WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility, has implications for oil and gas drilling on federal land throughout the West. In the decision, Contreras faulted the agency's environmental assessments as inadequate because they did not detail how individual drilling projects contributed to the nation's overall carbon output. Since greenhouse gas emissions are driving climate change, the judge wrote, these analyses did not provide policymakers and the public with a sufficient understanding of drilling's impact, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

"Given the national, cumulative nature of climate change, considering each individual drilling project in a vacuum deprives the agency and the public of the context necessary to evaluate oil and gas drilling on federal land before irretrievably committing to that drilling," he wrote.

While the Interior Department began to take into account the climate impacts of federal oil, gas and coal leasing toward the end of President Barack Obama's second term, Trump officials jettisoned those plans right after President Trump took office. Trump and several of his top deputies have dismissed recent federal findings that the United States and other countries must curb their carbon output in the next decade or face potentially disastrous consequences from climate change.

The Bureau of Land Management could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.