Archives: U.S. Bureau of Land Management

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Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Blocking Enforcement of New BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming granted a motion for a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recently issued hydraulic fracturing rule. BLM issued the rule in March, attempting to exert jurisdiction over hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. But the … Continue Reading

D.C. District Court Judge Chastises the Department of the Interior, Ordering It to Deliver a Plan on a BLM Drilling Permit, After a 29-Year Suspension

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, for unreasonably delaying action in their review of Solonex LLC’s suspended 1985 drilling permit. Civ. No. 1:13-cv-00993, Doc. No. 52. The … Continue Reading

Wyoming Federal District Court Stays BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

On June 23, a coalition of industry, states, and tribal interests convinced a federal judge to stay the effective date of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule. The stay demonstrates the first step for the industry in holding the BLM accountable to the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the first … Continue Reading

BLM Agrees to Complete Hydraulic Fracturing EIS for Leases in California

A recent agreement between environmentalists and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) may open the floodgates to challenges of the sufficiency of Environmental Assessments (EA) or Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for oil and gas leases. Of course, this also means delays in opening up more federal lands, held in trust for U.S. citizens, to unconventional … Continue Reading

Rural Nevada Anti-Fracking Group Seeks to Enjoin Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Reese River Basin Citizens Against Fracking filed a complaint in federal court on June 27, seeking to enjoin the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from holding an oil and gas lease sale. The rural group is comprised of owners of “farming and ranching land, water rights, and grazing rights” adjacent to the land … Continue Reading

White House Threatens Veto of House Bill Giving States Primacy Over Federal Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands

UPDATE: On November 20, 2013, the House passed Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, H.R. 2728, by a vote of 235 to 187. On November 20, the U.S. House of Representatives began floor debate on a bill giving state law primacy over federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands: H.R. 2728 … Continue Reading

GAO: BLM Needs To Improve Oil and Gas Well Inspections

This blog entry is a follow up to the previous post discussing the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) report presented to Congress on Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) management of oil and gas development.  The first post discussed review of BLM’s permitting program.  This post discusses GAO’s review of BLM’s environmental inspections of oil and gas … Continue Reading

GAO Recommends That BLM Do a Better Job of Permitting Oil and Gas Development

The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) conducted a review of certain aspects of the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) management of federal oil and gas resources.  Following this review, the GAO produced a report of its findings.  The report covers fiscal years 2007 to 2012 and examines, among other issues, the changes in BLM’s permitting workload … Continue Reading

Environmental Groups Set Stage for Litigation Challenging BLM’s Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Rulemaking with Claim That BLM Is Violating NEPA

Eighteen environmental organizations – lead by the Sierra Club – are claiming that the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) will violate the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) if it finalizes its proposed rulemaking related to hydraulic fracturing on federal lands without preparing a full-scale Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”). Under NEPA, an EIS is required if the proposed … Continue Reading

Concerns about BLM’s Failure to Protect Trade Secrets Headline Rulemaking Comments

When the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to hydraulic fracturing on federal lands on May 16, 2013, it believed that it had struck a balance between industry and environmental groups on how propriety/trade secret information in fluids used during the hydraulic fracturing process would be protected from … Continue Reading

Public Comment Period for Proposed Federal Fracking Regulations Draws to a Close

The public comment period for new federal regulations regarding fracking on public lands—the first substantive update to the rules in three decades—ended on Friday with over 1 million submissions from both critics and advocates evaluating the proposed rules. The proposed rules have garnered substantial attention, with demonstrators sporting both pro- and anti-fracking messages turning out … Continue Reading

Wyoming Requests Exemption from BLM Hydraulic Fracking Final Rules

On August 19th, Senators Michael B. Enzi and John Barraso, M.D., as well as U.S. Representative Cynthia M. Lummis, wrote to the Secretary of the Interior, The Honorable Sally Jewell, requesting that the Department of the Interior exempt Wyoming, as well as other states currently regulating hydraulic fracturing, from the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) … Continue Reading

Federal Agency Puts Plan to Lease Mineral Rights in Ohio Forest on Hold

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has temporarily delayed its plans to auction off the mineral rights to over 4,500 acres of property in the Blue Rock State Forest in Muskingum County, Ohio. The decision came just hours after news of the auction went public, catching many observers by surprise, including officials from the … Continue Reading
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