News & Analysis as of

National Environmental Policy Act Bureau of Land Management

With Mining Law Segregation on 10 Million Acres to Expire in Three Months, Interior Forms Sage-Grouse Review Team

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Late Wednesday Secretary of the Interior Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353 establishing a Sage-Grouse Review Team to review the Obama Administration’s 2015 amendments to federal land use management plans. To avoid listing...more

Nevada Solar Project Survives Ninth Circuit Review Despite Impacts to Tortoise Connectivity

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 18, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment decision in favor of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and other federal officials in an...more

BLM Directed to “Try Again” on NEPA Analysis for Echanis Wind’s Transmission Line: Greater Sage-Grouse Remains Key Issue for...

by Stoel Rives LLP on

In the continuing saga of the Echanis wind project in Eastern Oregon, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman on April 18 vacated the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM)’s Record of Decision (ROD) on a right-of-way grant...more

Oil and Gas Update for 4/2017 – MD Bans Hydraulic Fracturing, OH DMA Cases Keep Trickling In, and Spot Prices Pull a Hat Trick in...

by Cozen O'Connor on

All three benchmarks for natural gas spot prices in Appalachia hit $3/MMBtu or more since our last report (and did so for the first time in a long time), trending alongside a spike in oil prices following the Syrian airstrike...more

Executive Order Seeks Sweeping Reversal of Climate Change Policies to Favor U.S. Energy Production

by Perkins Coie on

President Donald Trump recently signed Executive Order 13783, an omnibus executive order aimed at reducing burdens on further development of domestic energy resources, with “particular attention” to oil, natural gas, coal and...more

Swing and a Foul Ball? Practical Effect of Obama Administration’s Now-Defunct Coal Leasing Moratorium Likely Relatively Small

by Stoel Rives LLP on

An executive order, secretarial order, and lawsuit challenging said secretarial order, all in the span of less than 36 hours and all concerning federal coal leasing. The Trump administration on Wednesday reversed a 2016...more

Interior Secretary Immediately Implements President’s Executive Order on Energy and Climate

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

New Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke wasted no time implementing the mandates of the Trump Administration’s most recent Executive Order (EO), “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” which was issued on March...more

DOI Releases Scoping Report on Coal Leasing Reforms

by WilmerHale on

On January 11, 2017, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within the Department of the Interior released a scoping report analyzing a wide range of proposed reforms to the federal coal leasing program, administered by the BLM....more

Important news for mining companies with existing or future projects in the California desert

BLM releases maps showing 1.3 million acres of proposed mining withdrawal - On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) released maps showing the areas that BLM, on December 28, 2016, proposed to...more

Utility-Scale Battery Storage Systems: Legal Issues and Opportunities

Federal and state government mandates and incentives, combined with technological advances, have dramatically increased renewable energy sources during the past decade. Variable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind...more

Securing Rights-of-Way to CO2 Pipeline Corridors in the United States

In the previous article in this series The Future of Carbon Dioxide Injection EOR in the United States, we discussed the sources and cost of CO2 supply for enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”) in the United States and the benefits...more

Second-Ever Eagle Programmatic Take Permit Soon To Be Granted For California Wind Energy Facility

by Nossaman LLP on

On November 1, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its plan to issue what will be only the second programmatic eagle take permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) permit program...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

by Stoel Rives LLP on

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

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

by Nossaman LLP on

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

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

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

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

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

BLM Fights Back Against Activists’ Criticisms of CA Resource Management Plan

by Stoel Rives LLP on

The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) recently filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of environmental activists who have challenged the BLM’s Resource Management Plan (“RMP”) for public lands...more

Department of the Interior Announces Comprehensive Review of Federal Coal Program

by WilmerHale on

On January 15, Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the Department of the Interior will launch a comprehensive review to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program. During the review, which is...more

US Suspends Coal Leasing on Federal Lands

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

Legal challenges to moratorium likely as US Department of Interior considers reforms. On Friday, January 15, 2016, US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the US will “pause” federal coal...more

D.C. District Court Judge Chastises the Department of the Interior, Ordering It to Deliver a Plan on a BLM Drilling Permit, After...

by BakerHostetler on

On July 27, 2015, D.C. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon entered a strongly worded order in Solenex LLC v. Jewell, chastising the defendants, including the Department of the Interior and numerous other federal agencies,...more

The Importance of Independence: The Ninth Circuit Provides Helpful Clarification on Connected Actions in the Energy Project...

by Perkins Coie on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a right-of-way for an access road over Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land to connect a wind project to a state highway did not trigger formal consultation under the...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that the BLM’s Grant of a Right-of-Way for a Road Over Federal Land Does Not Trigger Consultation Under the...

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

On May 27, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) grant of a right-of-way over federal land for a road (the Road Project) for a wind energy project...more

Equal Access To Justice Act: Why Prevailing On Only 1 Out Of 3 Claims In Oregon Forestry Case Can Still Be Quite Rewarding

by Nossaman LLP on

Generally, a failure rate of two-thirds would indicate that what you are doing isn't profitable. However, when dealing with environmental law, that clearly isn't the case. In Cascadia Wildlands v. Bureau of Land Management,...more

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