Description: Challenge to BLM approval of resource management plans in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming to permit oil shale or tar sands leasing.
Rocky Mountain Wild v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/10/2018 Order Download Petition denied. Colorado Federal Court Rejected Challenge to 2013 BLM Plan for Oil Shale and Tar Sands Development. The federal district court for the District of Colorado rejected a challenge to 2013 amendments to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Resource Management Plan related to commercial leasing for oil shale and tar sands (OSTS). Environmental groups had asserted that the amendments’ approach to consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) did not comply with the ESA and alleged, among other things, that OSTS development would increase greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating the effects of climate change and adversely affecting the lands and waters of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The court found that BLM’s phased approach to ESA consultation was within its authority and not unlawful. The court said its findings were limited to the “unique situation here, where it is unknown whether future OSTS leasing and development will ever be viable, let alone approved and permitted.” The court’s decision did not address the plaintiffs’ climate change-related allegations. 07/25/2013 Complaint Download Complaint filed. A coalition of environmental organizations filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to comply with the Endangered Species Act when it approved amendments to nine resource management plans to permit oil shale or tar sands leasing on 810,000 acres of public land in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Among other things, plaintiffs contend that oil shale and tar sands development will increase greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating the effects of climate change and adversely affecting the lands and waters of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.