Description: Action challenging federal government's decisions to hold offshore oil and gas lease sales.
Gulf Restoration Network v. Zinke
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/16/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Challenged Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Sales in Gulf of Mexico. Gulf Restoration Network, Sierra Club, and Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and other defendants to challenge decisions to hold offshore lease sales for oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico. The plaintiffs asserted that the defendants relied on “arbitrary” environmental analyses in violation of NEPA and the Administrative Procedure Act. The complaint alleges two “fundamental defects” in the NEPA analysis: (1) an “irrational reliance on the false assumptions that preexisting, safer policies would remain in place,” even though the Department of the Interior had begun to implement repeals of drilling safety regulations and reductions in royalty rates, and (2) an assumption that the same projected environmental effects would occur even if the lease sales were not held. The complaint alleged that oil and gas development in the Gulf contributes significantly to climate change through emissions emitted by exploration, development, and production operations, as well as downstream combustion.