Description: Challenge to a June 2022 decision to sell oil and gas leases covering almost 120,000 acres in Wyoming.
Wilderness Society v. Haaland
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/29/2022 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Conservation Groups Alleged Failures to Meaningfully Consider Climate Impacts of Oil and Gas Lease Sales. A lawsuit filed by Wilderness Society and Friends of the Earth (FOE) in federal district court in the District of Columbia challenged a June 2022 decision to sell oil and gas leases covering almost 120,000 acres in Wyoming. Wilderness Society and FOE’s claims included that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the National Environmental Policy Act by “fail[ing] to make a reasoned decision about how to address the lease sale’s contribution to climate change.” They alleged that although BLM acknowledged that the development of the oil and gas leases would result in “huge volumes of greenhouse gases” and “billions of dollars in social and environmental costs,” the agency did not explain why it chose to incur such costs, consider the sale’s consistency with U.S. commitments to mitigate climate change, or consider the alternative of a smaller lease sale. The complaint’s allegations also related to potential groundwater impacts and asserted that protection of groundwater sources was particularly important due to pressure climate change would put on water sources.