Description: Lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Energy's administration of the National Coal Council.
Western Organization of Resource Councils v. Granholm
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/19/2022 Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Download Notice of voluntary dismissal filed. Regional Network of Environmental Groups Dropped Challenge to Now-Lapsed Coal Council. Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit it filed in 2020 to contest the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) administration of the National Coal Council (NCC). In its complaint, WORC alleged that the NCC had “operated in secret and work[ed] to advance the goals of only one interest: the industries that profit from the development and combustion of coal.” WORC asserted that the NCC’s operations violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The notice of voluntary dismissal noted that DOE had notified the NCC’s chair in November 2021 that DOE would allow the NCC’s charter to lapse and that a new charter had been finalized and transmitted to Congress in February 2022. “Having reviewed the Department’s plans for the new National Advisory Committee on Coal,” WORC voluntarily dismissed the action with prejudice. 01/25/2022 Order Download Stay extended and parties directed to file a status report by February 23, 2022. 01/24/2022 Status Report Download Joint status report filed. 12/13/2021 Order Download Proceedings stayed and parties directed to file a status report by January 24, 2022. 12/10/2021 Motion Download Joint motion to stay proceedings filed by the parties. The parties requested that the court stay proceedings to allow the parties time to discuss resolution of the case without need for further briefing. 04/06/2021 Order Download Motion to dismiss denied. 12/21/2020 Motion to Dismiss Download Memorandum filed in support of defendants' motion to dismiss. Department of Energy Sought to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Its Management of National Coal Council. In its motion to dismiss, the Department of Energy argued that the plaintiff did not have standing for claims with respect to the full National Coal Council (NCC) and that the plaintiff failed to state viable claims with respect to NCC subcommittees. 10/15/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed. The Western Organization of Resource Councils filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Energy's administration of the National Coal Council (NCC), which the complaint described as “a body designed to debate and recommend federal policies related to the production and consumption of American coal.” The complaint alleged that DOE had not complied with obligations under the Federal Advisory Committee Act because it had failed to open NCC meetings to the public and to release NCC materials. The complaint further alleged that NCC’s “current focus on coal production at the expense of all other considerations for American energy policy is evident in the NCC’s recent work product,” including an exclusive focus on “expanding the use of and financial support for coal, without any commensurate attempt to lower emissions.” The plaintiff contended that “[a]s the NCC’s balance and vision has changed, its capacity to contextualize the coal industry’s interests within other public policy considerations for the federal government—such as global climate change and public and private land conservation—has all but evaporated.”