Description: Challenge to decision to lease lands in National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska for oil and gas drilling.
Northern Alaska Environmental Center v. U.S. Department of the Interior
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/06/2018 Order Download Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment denied and intervenor-defendant's and federal defendants' cross-motions for summary judgment granted. Alaska Federal Court Rejected Challenges to Lease Sales in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The federal district court for the District of Alaska rejected assertions that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was required to prepare an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment prior to issuing 2017 leases in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The court rejected this argument, concluding that Ninth Circuit precedent upholding issuance of leases prior to a site-specific analysis of each lease parcel was controlling. As in a separate case decided the same day, the court held that the plaintiffs waived any claims that BLM should have supplemented its earlier review in an Integrated Activity Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (IAP/EIS) finalized in 2012. 08/07/2018 Reply Download Reply filed by plaintiff in support of motion for summary judgment. 07/24/2018 Response Download Intervenor-defendant ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. filed response in opposition to plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and cross-motion for summary judgment. 07/24/2018 Response Download Federal defendants filed response to plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and cross-motion for summary judgment. 06/04/2018 Motion for Summary Judgment Download Memorandum filed in support of plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. 05/21/2018 Complaint Download First amended complaint filed. 02/02/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Launched NEPA Challenge to Oil and Gas Leasing in National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska. Five environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in Alaska challenging the federal decision to lease lands in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska. The plaintiffs asserted that the defendants violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) because the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to prepare either an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement before conducting an oil and gas lease sale in December 2017 for approximately 10.3 million acres in the Reserve. One of the environmental groups submitted comments to BLM prior to the sale, urging the agency not to conduct further leasing until it had completed site-specific environmental analysis by taking a hard look at direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts, including contributions to climate change.