American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - 19

IndustryDigest
Two Groups File Suit
On BLM Lease Process
WASHINGTON-Two antidevelopment groups are asking a federal
court to vacate leasing authorizations
issued by the Bureau of Land
Management in 10 lease sales and to
void 397 oil and gas leases in Colorado,
Utah and Wyoming.
In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia,
WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for
Social Responsibility argue BLM's
leasing process violates the National
Environmental Policy Act because the
bureau did not completely analyze the
direct, indirect and cumulative impacts
of those lease sales on climate change,
principally from greenhouse gas
emissions.
BLM has never analyzed the impacts
of GHG emissions related to its public
lands leasing at the programmatic level,
nor in the resource management plans
that guide lease authorizations, the
plaintiffs argue. "This failure is carried
forward to the agency's site-specific
leasing decisions, including the
decisions challenged herein, which fail
to sufficiently quantify or analyze the
direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts
of foreseeable GHG emissions that will
result from BLM's leasing
authorizations," they say.
BLM has leased almost 400,000
acres of public lands since 2015 without
addressing climate impacts, the parties
say, and is poised to hold additional
lease sales in Colorado, Montana, New
Mexico, Utah and Wyoming by the end
of the year.
In each of its lease authorizations
since 2015, the plaintiffs allege, BLM
has failed to identify direct and indirect
GHG emissions and effects that will
result from those individual lease sales
and resulting development, and failed to
identify cumulative GHG emissions and
effects from its national leasing
program. They contrast that with the
Department of the Interior's
programwide climate study of GHG
emissions from its federal coal leasing
program, and the accompanying halt to
new coal leases.
In addition to voiding leases in the
three states, the two groups are asking
the court to enjoin BLM from
approving or acting on any applications
for permits to drill on leases included in

the lease sales until BLM has prepared
an environmental impact statement
analyzing those direct, indirect and
cumulative effects. ❒

BLM's Onshore Leases
Sell In Online Auction
WASHINGTON-The Bureau of
Land Management says it has

completed its first online onshore oil
and gas lease sale under new authority
granted by Congress. BLM's Eastern
States office offered nearly 4,400 acres
at the Sept. 20 sale, including 4,214
acres on the Homochitto and Bienville
National Forests in Mississippi. All
parcels offered were sold, the agency
adds, with the highest bid receiving
$184 an acre for an 86.21-acre parcel.
According to the agency, EnergyNet

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Cover1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Cover2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - 4
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Cover3
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