Description: Challenge to environmental reviews conducted for oil and gas lease sales on public lands in Montana.
WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/15/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit in Montana Federal Court Challenged NEPA Reviews for Oil and Gas Lease Sales. Two environmental groups, a Montana landowner, and the owners of an orchard in Montana filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of Montana challenging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in connection with BLM’s oil and gas lease sales for almost 150,000 acres of public lands in Montana. The plaintiffs alleged that BLM failed to address impacts on groundwater and also failed to address impacts on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts, “perpetuating the fundamental disconnect between the federal government’s management of public lands and the changing climate.” The plaintiffs asserted that BLM’s environmental assessments for the lease sales failed to adequately quantify cumulative emissions; failed to accurately quantify direct and indirect emissions from oil and gas development; failed to monetize the economic costs of greenhouse gas emissions from the lease sales; and failed to provide any measure to demonstrate the context and intensity of the greenhouse gas emissions from the lease sales. The plaintiffs contended that in the absence of this information neither the public nor BLM could compare the costs and benefits of the lease sales or make informed choices between alternatives.