Bureau of Land Management sued over Alaska oil exploration approval

A trio of environmental groups deposit a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of the Interior and officials of those agencies on Thursday, alleging the agencies produced environmental assessments for oil drilling in Alaska that do not meet National Environmental requirements Policy Act (NEPA).

“This is a case involving BLM’s decision to approve an oil and gas exploration program in pursuit of future oil and gas development, a major source of climate pollution, without adequate discussion or analysis of the program’s impacts. ‘climate change exploration,’ the organizations wrote in their complaint.

The plaintiffs are the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. They are represented by landjustice.

The case concerns drilling permits on the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The organizations describe the region as an economically significant area of ​​23 million acres, home to unique landscapes and species. The plaintiffs object to the Bureau’s approval of a five-year exploration project without consideration of greenhouse gas emissions. For a second request for redress, the organizations allege the agency failed to meet the requirement to provide a detailed statement regarding “major federal actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment.”

“BLM has received new information and data relevant to its decision regarding downstream greenhouse gas emissions that may result from its approval of the five-year program,” the complaint states, but the agency has not completed its assessments. based on this information.

The plaintiffs seek declaratory relief in their favor, an injunction blocking the exploration activities at issue until the agency complies with the law, and the voiding of the program approval by the defendants, as well as the costs.