April 26, 2018 Read More →

Court Forces BLM to Delay Oil And Gas Lease Sales Over Climate Change Concerns

Associated Press:

U.S. officials delayed lease sales on federal oil and gas reserves beneath more than 160 square miles of public and private lands in eastern Montana in response to a recent court ruling on climate change, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman said Wednesday.

The 223 lease parcels had been slated for sale on June 12, but instead will undergo additional environmental analysis, said Jon Raby, the bureau’s acting state director for Montana, in a letter announcing the delay. Agency officials could not provide a timeline for the new analysis or say when the parcels would be available for sale.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in March ruled that government officials failed to fully consider the climate impacts of burning coal, oil and gas extracted from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming.

The basin has the largest coal reserves in the U.S. and lesser quantities of oil and gas. Morris said any new or pending lease sales in the area must be subjected to a detailed environmental review.

“One thing the court was clear about is the BLM cannot continue to ignore the real and significant impacts of fossil fuel development in the Powder River Basin,” said Shiloh Hernandez, an attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center representing the environmentalists in the case.

More: US Delays Oil, Gas Sales In Montana After Climate Ruling

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