Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Litigation Continues Regarding Preliminary Injunction Order Enjoining the BLM Rule’s Enforcement

On November 16, 2015, a group of environmental organizations filed a Motion for Final Judgment or Stay of District Court proceedings pending appeal in the case State of Wyoming, et al,. v. U.S. Department of Interior, et al.. The respondents are asking the court to consolidate its prior preliminary injunction order with a final judgment ending the litigation on the merits or to stay proceedings in this case so that they can appeal the preliminary injunction order to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In September 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming granted petitioners’ motions for preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the BLM rule governing hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands. The District Court concluded that the BLM did not receive authority from Congress to regulate hydraulic fracturing.

In their brief in support of the Motion, the environmental organizations alleged that “[b]ecause of [the court’s] dispositive legal ruling, proceedings over the scope of the administrative record, or further briefing on the merits, will very likely be immaterial to a final judgment entered in this Court.” They also argued that “[i]t would be a waste of the resources of the Court and the parties to pursue further litigation [if] the Tenth Circuit [was] reviewing the Court’s dispositive ruling that BLM lacks legal authority to adopt the rule.”

More information on this case is available at docket no. 2:15-cv-00043. 

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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