Description: Lawsuit seeking to compel federal defendants to proceeding with onshore and offshore oil and gas lease sales.
American Petroleum Institute v. U.S. Department of the Interior
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/03/2022 Judgment Download Motion to dismiss granted in part and denied in part. Louisiana Federal Court Dismissed NEPA Claim in Trade Associations’ Challenge to Pause on Oil and Gas Leasing. The federal district court for the Western District of Louisiana dismissed two claims in oil and gas industry trade associations’ lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s pause on certain oil and gas leasing activity. The court concluded that the D.C. Circuit had exclusive jurisdiction over a claim that the pause would prevent the defendants from adopting a timely five-year leasing program under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The court therefore dismissed the claim without prejudice. The court dismissed with prejudice a claim that the defendants violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to prepare an environment assessment or environmental impact statement before implementing the pause. The court found that the trade associations lacked statutory standing under NEPA because their only alleged environmental injuries were the public’s generalized interest in informed decision-making and a possibility that the pause would result in a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions because oil and gas from the U.S. would be substituted with oil and gas from countries with less robust regulation. The court said these injuries were “either economic in nature or flow from their general interest in promoting environmentally responsible economic development, interests that do not fall within NEPA’s zone of interests.” The court rejected the defendants’ argument that claims under the Mineral Leasing Act and Administrative Procedure Act were untimely. 11/02/2022 Response Download Response filed by defendants to plaintiffs' objections to report and recommendations to partially dismiss amended complaint. 10/19/2022 Objection Download Objections filed by plaintiffs to report and recommendations to partially dismiss amended complaint. 10/05/2022 Report and Recommendation Download Report and recommendation issued by magistrate judge. 06/10/2022 Notice of Appeal Download Notice of appeal filed by conservation group applications for intervention. 06/02/2022 Opposition Download Opposition filed by plaintiffs to applicant-intervenors' appeal of magistrate judge's denial of motion to intervene. 06/02/2022 Order Download Denial of conservation groups' motion to intervene affirmed. Louisiana Federal Court Affirmed Denial of Groups’ Request to Intervene in Defense of Oil and Gas Moratorium. The federal district court for the Western District of Louisiana affirmed a magistrate judge’s denial of conservation groups’ motion to intervene in trade groups’ lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s moratorium on onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing. The magistrate had concluded that the government defendants adequately represented the groups’ interests in maintaining the moratorium. The district court found that the magistrate’s order was neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law, and that the court would reach the same decision even if it applied a de novo review standard. 05/11/2022 Statement Download Conservation groups appealed magistrate judge's denial of their motion to intervene. 04/29/2022 Order Download Motion to intervene denied. On April 29, 2022, the court denied environmental groups’ motion to intervene, finding that the government defendants adequately represented the groups’ interests in maintaining the moratorium. 04/18/2022 Order Download Motion to consolidate denied. Louisiana Federal Court Declined to Consolidate Trade Groups’ Challenge to Leasing Moratorium with States’ Ongoing Lawsuit. On April 18, 2022, the federal district court for the Western District of Louisiana denied a motion by the American Petroleum Institute and other oil and gas trade associations to consolidate their lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s “indefinite moratorium” on onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing with an earlier lawsuit filed by Louisiana and other states. The court found that consolidation was inappropriate. Factors cited by court included that the overlap of issues of law and fact in the two cases was “far from complete” and that there was “little risk of inconsistent results” since the same judge was adjudicating both cases. The court also said consolidation could risk “injecting new issues” in the states’ case that could “slow the progress toward resolution of the unique legal issues raised in that matter.” The court also noted that none of the plaintiffs were the same in the two cases, and that the cases were not in the same phase since the court had already issued a preliminary injunction and ruled on a motion to dismiss in the states’ case. 01/28/2022 Reply Download Reply filed in support of motion to dismiss amended complaint. 01/18/2022 Opposition Download Opposition filed by plaintiffs to defendants' motion to dismiss amended complaint. 01/07/2022 Notice Download Defendants filed notice of withdrawal of first motion to dismiss. 12/27/2021 Motion to Dismiss Download Defendants filed motion to dismiss amended complaint. 12/20/2021 Opposition Download Opposition filed by plaintiffs to defendants' Rule 12(b) motion to dismiss. 12/06/2021 Complaint Download First supplemental and amended complaint filed. 10/27/2021 Motion to Intervene Download Motion to intervene filed by conservation groups. 10/27/2021 Opposition Download Memorandum filed by defendants in opposition to plaintiffs' motion to consolidate. 08/16/2021 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Trade Groups Filed New Lawsuit Challenging Moratorium on Federal Oil and Gas Lease Sales. American Petroleum Institute and other national, international, and regional trade groups filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Louisiana seeking to compel federal defendants to proceed with onshore and offshore oil and gas lease sales. The trade groups alleged that the defendants had implemented a moratorium on the lease sales in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Mineral Leasing Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and NEPA.
American Petroleum Institute v. U.S. Department of Interior
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/16/2022 Motion Download Motion to expedite filed by appellant conservation groups.