Description: Challenge to approvals of application for permits to drill in the Mancos Shale/Gallup formations.
Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment v. Haaland
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/02/2022 Brief Download Brief filed by intervenor-appellee American Petroleum Institute. 03/02/2022 Brief Download Brief filed by Enduring Resources IV, LLC. 03/02/2022 Brief Download Brief filed by appellees. 03/02/2022 Brief Download Brief filed by Navajo allottees. 03/02/2022 Brief Download Response brief filed by DJR Energy Holdings, LLC and SIMCOE LLC. 12/23/2021 Amicus Brief Download Brief filed by amicus curiae Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law in support of plaintiff-appellants and reversal. 12/16/2021 Brief Download Opening brief filed by appellants.
Diné Citizens Against Ruining the Environment v. Bernhardt
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/04/2021 Notice of Appeal Download Notice of appeal filed by plaintiffs. 08/03/2021 Memorandum Opinion and Order Download Plaintiffs' motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction denied and plaintiffs' claims dismissed with prejudice. New Mexico Federal Court Rejected New NEPA Challenge to Drilling Approvals in Mancos Shale. The federal district court for the District of New Mexico dismissed a lawsuit challenging BLM’s NEPA review of 370 applications for permits to drill (APDs) in the Mancos Shale/Gallup Sandstone formation of the San Juan Basin. The court noted that this case “originated from a separate, extensively litigated case” (see here) challenging more than 300 APDs in which the Tenth Circuit ultimately found that BLM failed to adequately consider cumulative impacts on water resources in five environmental assessments (EAs) but otherwise rejected the plaintiffs’ claims. BLM subsequently completed an “EA Addendum” to supplement the NEPA analysis and concluded for all APDs that the supplemental analysis in conjunction with the earlier analysis “did not demonstrate that the APDs in question would affect the human environment or result in cumulative impacts not already disclosed.” The district court found that BLM had not predetermined its decision to grant the subject APDs and also concluded that BLM’s supplementation was permissible. The district court noted that the EA Addendum reanalyzed several factors, including cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions, “though the Tenth Circuit did not explicitly require it to do so.” The plaintiffs contended that the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions was flawed in several ways, and the court rejected each of these contentions. First, the court said the plaintiffs’ argument that BLM merely quantified greenhouse gas emissions without analyzing them was without merit. Second, the court found that BLM’s decision to use a 100-year time horizon instead of a 20-year timeframe to analyze the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions “does not misrepresent or diminish the impact of its environmental conclusions, and is consistent with the law and other similar federal emissions practices.” Third, the court found that the plaintiffs did not establish that BLM failed to consider the APDs’ cumulative impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. The court characterized the plaintiffs’ argument as a request that the court “require an agency to codify Plaintiffs’ beliefs about climate change and its origins in federal oil drilling in the agency’s NEPA documentation.” Fourth, the court found that NEPA did not require that BLM evaluate greenhouse gas emissions in the context of carbon budgets. The court’s analysis of the merits was conducted in the context of a preliminary injunction motion, but the court said further analysis or argumentation would not change its disposition as to the merits and therefore granted the defendants’ request that the plaintiffs’ claims be dismissed with prejudice. 10/02/2020 Brief Download Opening merits brief filed by plaintiffs. 04/02/2020 Order Download Stay lifted and deadlines from joint status report adopted. 04/01/2020 Status Report Download Joint status report filed. 02/04/2020 Order Download Joint motion to stay proceedings granted. 01/21/2020 Order Download Motion by intervenor Navajo allottees for intervention of additional, similarly situated allottees granted. 09/20/2019 Response Download Response filed by intervenor Enduring Resources IV, LLC to plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. 09/04/2019 Reply Download Reply filed by plaintiffs to responses to motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. 08/28/2019 Order Download Court issued order regarding setting of hearing on motion for injunctive relief. Court Said It Would Not Rush to Hear Motion for Injunctive Relief. On August 28, 2019, the court issued a sua sponte order to explain why it had not yet set a hearing on the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary relief. The court noted the burdens it and other southwest border courts were facing and the need to prioritize criminal cases. The court also said it saw no basis for a temporary restraining order and that the plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief might be subject to a ripeness challenge. 08/22/2019 Motion to Intervene Download Motion for leave to intervene as a defendant filed by American Petroleum Institute. 08/14/2019 Response Download Response filed by federal defendants in opposition to plaintiffs' motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. 08/06/2019 Motion to Intervene Download Motion to intervene filed by Enduring Resources IV, LLC. 08/05/2019 Motion to Intervene Download Motion to intervene filed by DJR Energy Holdings, LLC and BP America Production Company. 08/01/2019 Motion Download Motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by plaintiffs. 08/01/2019 Petition for Review Download Petition for review filed. Plaintiffs Challenged BLM Approvals for Oil and Gas Permits in New Mexico. On August 1, 2019, four environmental groups filed a complaint and a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in the federal district court the District of New Mexico challenging BLM’s approval of at least 255 applications for permits to drill in Mancos Shale/Gallup formations. The complaint—which cited significant increases in methane emissions as a consequence of continued expansion of Mancos Shale development—alleged that BLM continued to approve drilling permits despite having failed to complete its assessment of hydraulic fracturing and even though the Tenth Circuit ruled that BLM had failed to considered the cumulative impacts of oil and gas production in the Mancos Shale.