Wednesday, September 23, 2015

U.S. District Court of Wyoming Receives Record Citations in Challenge of BLM Rule Concerning Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands

On September 18, 2015, the states of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and North Dakota as well as the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Western Energy Alliance submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming their record citations in support of a motion for preliminary injunction challenging various provisions of the BLM's regulation governing hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands.

In June 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming issued a temporary order delaying the effective date of said BLM rule. On September 2, 2015, the District Court granted a joint motion extending the deadline to file record citations in support of their respective positions. The deadline was extended until September 18, 2015.

In their record citations, the parties contend that the BLM rule is inconsistent with the states’ primacy to regulate oil and gas development as well as water use under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. They also claim that the states will suffer irreparable economic harm in the absence of an injunction due to potential federal permitting delays.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe also submitted briefs in support of the motion claiming that the BLM’s rule and its variance provisions violated its trust duties to tribes under the Indian Mineral Leasing Act and the Indian Mineral Development Act.

The case remains pending in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming at docket no. 2:15-cv-00041.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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