Description: Challenge to authorization of oil and gas leases in Santa Fe National Forest.
San Juan Citizens Alliance v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/26/2018 Motion Download Motion for voluntary dismissal filed by federal defendant-appellants. 10/26/2018 Order Download Motion for voluntary dismissal granted. BLM Dropped Appeal of Decision Requiring More Climate Change Analysis for Oil and Gas Leases. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the motion by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other federal appellants for voluntary dismissal of their appeal of a New Mexico federal court’s decision setting aside oil and gas leases and the finding of no significant impact for the leases. The district court found that BLM’s National Environmental Policy Act review had not taken a hard look at impacts on climate change and greenhouse gases, or at impacts on water use.
San Juan Citizens Alliance v. United States Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/14/2018 Memorandum Opinion and Order Download Finding of no significant impact and leases set aside and matter remanded to BLM for further analysis. New Mexico Federal Court Ordered Analysis of Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Oil and Gas Leases. The federal district court for the District of New Mexico held that BLM failed to take a hard look at the greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts of leases issued in 2015 for 13 parcels of federal mineral estate in the Santa Fe National Forest covering almost 20,000 acres. The court set aside the leases and remanded for additional review. The court rejected BLM’s argument that it was not required to consider downstream greenhouse gas emissions that would result from combustion of oil and gas produced from development of wells on the leased areas and the downstream emissions’ impact on climate change. The court said such impacts were required to be assessed as indirect impacts of the leases. In addition, the court said BLM must conduct a new cumulative impact analysis of greenhouse gas emissions due to the failure to consider downstream greenhouse gas emissions. The court also noted that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had updated its reports since BLM conducted its review as had the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The court said that on remand BLM should not rely on outdated scientific tools and analyses. Although the court was not persuaded by the plaintiffs’ attacks on BLM’s mitigation measure analysis, the court indicated that BLM might need to conduct a new mitigation analysis once it had calculated downstream greenhouse gas emissions and analyzed their impact. The court also found that BLM did not adequately address impacts of water use. 05/03/2016 Petition for Review Download Petition for review filed. Environmental Groups Challenged Issuance of Oil and Gas Leases in New Mexico. Five environmental groups filed an action in the federal district court for the District of New Mexico seeking review of the authorization of oil and gas leases in the Santa Fe National Forest. The environmental groups alleged that the United States Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service had not complied with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The groups said that the agencies had failed to acknowledge or analyze the environmental consequences of the actions, including climate change. They alleged that the leases could significantly increase methane emissions and also increase carbon dioxide emissions.