Description: Challenge to environmental review for oil and gas lease sale in Kern County, California.
Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/29/2022 Stipulation Download Stipulation of dismissal pursuant to settlement agreement filed. BLM Agreed to Supplemental Environmental Analysis for Oil and Gas Development on Public Lands in California. In a lawsuit challenging the Bakersfield Field Office’s offering for sale of seven oil and gas leases in Kern County, the federal defendants agreed to conduct additional analysis of environmental impacts. The settlement agreement provided for voluntary remand without vacatur for the federal defendants to prepare supplemental environmental documents. The analysis for the lease sales may be combined with the supplemental analysis for the Bakersfield Field Office Resource Management Plan that the defendants are conducting pursuant to a settlement in a separate case. 03/22/2021 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Challenged Environmental Review for California Oil and Gas Lease Sale. Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Eastern District of California asserting that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it proceeded with a lease sale in Kern County, California, which the complaint described as “an area already overwhelmed by oil and gas extraction and suffering from some of the worst air and water pollution problems in the country.” The groups alleged that BLM’s “rushed analysis” of the Kern County sale’s impact suffered from similar defects as the environmental review of hydraulic fracturing that the Central District of California found lacking in 2016. The groups contended that the environmental assessment for the Kern County lease sale improperly tiered to the deficient analysis addressed by the Central District in 2016 and failed to adequately analyze cumulative air quality and climate impacts. The plaintiffs also alleged that BLM failed to consider reasonable alternatives that would have prevented or minimized climate impacts.