Description: Challenge to oil and gas lease sales covering more than 54,000 acres in southeastern Utah.
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance v. Bernhardt
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/19/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Filed Challenging Environmental Reviews for Oil and Gas Leases in Southeastern Utah. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) filed a lawsuit in federal court in Utah claiming that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it decided in March and December 2018 to offer 35 oil and gas leases covering 54,508 acres of public lands in southeastern Utah. SUWA alleged that over the past year and a half BLM had “offered, sold and issued a mosaic of oil and gas leases on the doorstep of Bears Ears, Canyons of the Ancients, and Hovenweep National Monuments” without fully analyzing the impacts of the leasing decisions, including impacts on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. In particular, the complaint alleged that BLM had not considered emissions of greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, such as methane and nitrous oxide. SUWA also said BLM’s environmental review failed to consider greenhouse gas emissions from activities that occur after production but prior to combustion such as fugitive emissions from pipeline leaks. In addition, SUWA alleged that BLM had not considered reasonably foreseeable cumulative impacts. The complaint asserted claims under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.