Description: Lawsuit challenging federal defendants' decision to hold an offshore oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico.
Friends of the Earth v. Haaland
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/22/2021 Order Download Louisiana's motion to intervene granted. Federal Court Allowed Louisiana to Intervene in Environmental Groups’ Challenge to Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale. The federal district court for the District of Columbia held that the State of Louisiana could intervene as of right in environmental organizations’ lawsuit challenging the Interior Department’s decision to hold an offshore oil and gas lease sale for portions of the Gulf of Mexico. The court found that there was “sufficient doubt” about the adequacy of the federal government’s representation of Louisiana’s interests, given the litigation between Louisiana and the federal government in the Western District of Louisiana concerning the Biden administration’s “pause” on federal oil and gas leasing. 08/31/2021 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Challenged Environmental Review for Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Sale. Four environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia challenging federal defendants’ decision to hold an offshore oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. The complaint asserted claims under NEPA and the Administrative Procedure Act, alleging, among other flaws, that the NEPA analysis “incredulously asserts that burning” up to 1.12 billion barrels of oil and 4.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that would result from the lease sale “will not contribute to climate change” and will “reduce greenhouse gas emissions” compared to a no-action alternative. The plaintiffs alleged that this “irrational conclusion” was based “on the idea that foreign substitution effects would increase emissions if the U.S. did not hold a lease sale,” an assumption that the plaintiffs was not supported by available information. The plaintiffs also contended that the defendants should have updated the almost five-year-old NEPA analysis to include “new information that demonstrates additional oil and gas leasing will exacerbate the climate crisis to an extent that the Bureau did not consider in its previous NEPA analysis.” The complaint also alleged that new information revealed other risks and threats, including safety issues and harms to frontline communities and endangered species.