Bureau of Land Management

News & Analysis as of

BLM Moves Forward with Phase I of Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) has now been approved, paving the way for streamlined permitting and environmental review of qualified renewable energy projects on Bureau of Land Management...more

Renewable Energy Update - September 2016 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Solar, wind developers: U.S. desert plan hurts renewable energy - Reuters - Sep 14 - On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Interior unveiled the first phase of the Desert Renewable...more

New BLM Wind and Solar Development Guidelines on Public Lands Expected Soon

With a goal to spur wind and solar development on public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is expected to soon release a new rule that will streamline approval of new renewable energy projects....more

Back to the Fracking Drawing Board for BLM? Fracking’s Risks Are Too Obvious to Ignore

Last week, Judge Michael Fitzgerald granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs in a citizen suit alleging that BLM’s Environmental Impact Statement prepared to address whether to open certain lands in California to mineral...more

BLM Must Take a “Hard Look” at Fracking Impacts

On September 6, 2016, a federal Judge issued an Order finding that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) failed to take a “hard look,” as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), at the potential...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown signs into law two landmark climate bills - San Francisco Chronicle - Sep 8 - Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed SB32, the nation’s toughest climate law,...more

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Incidental Take Statements Not Required for Plant Species

On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision granting summary judgment to the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) on the issue...more

9th Circuit Agrees With BLM: Incidental Take Statements Are Reserved For Fish and Wildlife

In Center for Biological Diversity, et al., v. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) did not violate the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when its...more

Court Rules BLM Had No Authority To Regulate Fracking On Federal and Native American Lands

In March 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued regulations applying to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. 80 Fed. Reg. 16,128–16,222 (Mar. 26, 2015) (the “Fracking Rule”). The states of Wyoming,...more

Wyoming Federal Court Strikes Down BLM Fracking Rule

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in State of Wyoming et al v. U.S. Department if Interior et al. struck down Bureau of Land Management regulations applying to hydraulic fracking on federal and Indian lands. He...more

Federal Judge: Authority Lacking for Regulation of Hydraulic Fracking

The federal district court in the state of Wyoming recently enjoined the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) from regulating hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), effectively ending, at least for now, the federal government’s...more

Administration Signals Intent to Challenge Judicial Decision That Struck Down Fracking Rule as Unlawful

On June 24, the Obama Administration filed its notice of appeal to challenge last week’s federal court decision to strike down the newest regulation over hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands by the Bureau of Land...more

Congressional Energy Roundup

“Status of BLM and Forest Service’s Efforts to Implement Amendments to Plans Regarding Sage Grouse Conservation and Coordination Activities with Affected States.” Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - PG&E to close Diablo Canyon, California's last nuclear power plant - Los Angeles Times - Jun 21 - Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) announced on Tuesday that it plans to close...more

Wyoming Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule; Existing Appeal Remains Pending (For Now)

As we’ve previously reported, a Wyoming federal court issued a preliminary injunction order last year that temporarily halted the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands. ...more

Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

US District Court rejects US Bureau of Land Management’s rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Tribal lands. On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming (District Court)...more

Independent Oil and Gas Producers Defeat Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

Wyoming U.S. District Court Declares Bureau of Land Management’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Unlawful On June 21, 2016, United States District Judge Scott Skavdahl granted BakerHostetler’s petition for review of final...more

District Court Strikes Down Controversial BLM Fracking Rule

In a decision sending shockwaves across the nation’s oil and gas industry, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming yesterday set aside the Bureau of Land Management’s rule to govern hydraulic fracturing on federal...more

BLM Has No Authority To Regulate Fracking, At Least For Now

Yesterday, Judge Scott Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming held that the Bureau of Land Management did not have authority to regulate the environmental impacts of fracking. I think Judge Skavdahl probably got it right, but I...more

NEPA Does Not Require An Agency To Guarantee Project Compliance with Environmental Laws

In an interesting decision last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to BLM’s decision to issue a right-of-way permit for Tule Wind’s plan for a wind farm southeast of San Diego. It’s not exactly...more

Renewable Energy Update - June 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - Ninth Circuit upholds wind farm approval - Courthouse News Service - Jun 7 - Federal regulators adequately addressed whether a proposed wind turbine project near San Diego would...more

The Other Shoe Just Dropped on Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry

Not to be outdone by its federal counter-parts, the California Air Resources Board (“ARB”) released Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Facilities (“proposed rule”) for methane emissions on...more

US Court of Appeals Affirms District Court Judgment Upholding Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act,...

On June 6, 2016, in Backcountry Against Dumps et al. v. Jewell et al., the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of California upholding federal...more

California Energy Agencies Advance Renewable Transmission Line Planning

California energy agencies and key stakeholders have finished the first step of a statewide planning process to evaluate transmission needs in the state and the region. This process, called the Renewable Energy Transmission...more

Activists Using Misinformation to Kill Fracking in Wayne National Forest

A large billboard has been placed by anti-fracking extremists across from the Wayne National Forest (“the Wayne”) headquarters on U.S. Rt. 33 near Nelsonville, Ohio. The billboard declares, “Frack our national forest? No...more

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