Following a preliminary injunction hearing, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming issued a temporary order, on June 24, 2015, delaying the effective date of BLM’s regulation governing hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Indian lands. The regulation was originally set to take effect on this same day. This temporary order will remain in effect until the court makes a final ruling in this litigation.
On May 15, 2015, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance filed a motion for a preliminary injunction challenging various provisions of the rule that both groups deemed “arbitrary” and lacking of “rational justification.”
Subsequently, the states of Wyoming and Colorado joined the suit and filed a preliminary injunction motion on May 29, 2015, arguing that only states are authorized to regulate hydraulic fracturing in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The states argue that such regulation will harm their sovereignty interest by interfering with existing state regulations. BLM’s response to the states’ arguments was presented in their brief submitted on June 12, 2015.
On June 22, 2015, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe – which already has filed suit against BLM in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado at docket no. 1:15-cv-01303-JLK – filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit against BLM, alongside the states of Wyoming, Colorado and North Dakota, and the two industry groups.
The case remains pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming, at docket no. 2:15-cv-00041-SWS.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow