Description: Challenge to federal approval of 53 oil and gas lease parcels on public lands in the Upper Colorado River Basin in western Colorado.
Wilderness Workshop v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/26/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Challenged NEPA Compliance for Oil and Gas Lease Auctions in Western Colorado. Five environmental groups filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of Colorado challenging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) approval of 53 oil and gas lease parcels on public lands in the Upper Colorado River Basin in western Colorado. The plaintiffs alleged that BLM failed to adequately consider and disclose environmental impacts, including climate impacts, and had therefore failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The alleged shortcomings in the environmental review included an alleged failure to take a hard look at direct, indirect, and cumulative greenhouse gas emissions that would result from lease auctions; the plaintiffs said there was no analysis of any site-specific greenhouse gas emissions or their climate change effects, and that the resource management plans and environmental impact statements (RMP-EIS) on which determinations of NEPA adequacy were based also failed to sufficiently analyze such impacts. The complaint also asserted that the RMP-EISs relied on outdated science with respect to methane’s global warming potential, which resulted in understating the magnitude of impacts, and that the RMP-EISs failed to analyze whether opening new sources of emissions was consistent with global, U.S., regional, and state carbon budgets.