Description: Challenge to variance for solar power project.
Colorado River Indian Tribes v. Department of Interior
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/16/2015 Order Download Summary judgment granted to defendants. The federal district court for the Central District of California granted summary judgment to the United States Department of the Interior, the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and other federal defendants in a lawsuit challenging approval of a solar energy facility on approximately 4,000 acres in the Mojave Desert. The court incorporated excerpts from its June 2015 decision denying a request for a preliminary injunction, including its conclusion that BLM had satisfied the NEPA requirement that it provide a statement of purpose and need. The court noted that one means by which BLM had fulfilled this obligation was by citing and incorporating by reference directives and policies, including President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which set a goal of approving 20,000 megawatt of renewable energy projects on public lands by 2020.
06/11/2015 Order Download Motion for preliminary injunction denied. The federal district court for the Central District of California refused to issue a preliminary injunction to stop development of a utility-scale solar power project within the ancestral lands of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. One National Environmental Policy Act argument made by the plaintiffs was that the statement of purpose and need for the project was too narrow because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) defined the purpose and need as responding to a request for a variance. The court concluded that BLM had sufficiently included its broader goals, including by citing President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which set a goal of approving 20,000 MW of renewable energy projects on public lands by 2020. 12/04/2014 Complaint Download Complaint filed.