The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees public access to the records of federal agencies. It embodies the view that government works best when it works in the open. On the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Department of the Interior quietly published a proposed regulation that will make it harder for the …CONTINUE READING
Administration takes next steps to scale back protections for iconic Western bird on federal public lands.
I’ve posted before about proposals by the Trump Administration to roll back protections for the sage grouse, an iconic species of the Western United States, from oil and gas development on federal public lands. (The initial blog post with background is here; the specific proposed revisions are here.) The Administration has now issued a final …CONTINUE READING
Comment ids flaws in BLM’s proposal to revoke rule restricting methane emissions from oil and gas development on federal lands
I’ve already posted a couple of times on BLM’s proposal to revoke a rule that limits methane emissions (a major greenhouse gas) from oil and gas operations on federal lands. The period for public comment on BLM’s proposal closes today. A group of environmental law professors just filed a comment noting major legal problems with …CONTINUE READING
BLM proposes repeal of rule restricting methane emissions from oil and gas development on federal lands
Tom Schumann drafted this blog post. As previously announced, the Interior Department has published its proposal to roll back an Obama-era regulation aimed at reducing climate change-causing methane releases from oil and gas operations on federal lands. The Obama-era regulation—commonly known as the methane rule—would (1) limit the amount of methane produced by wells that …CONTINUE READING
Resolution would eliminate updates to planning process for BLM lands
Final Update: The President signed the resolution. Update #2: It just passed the Senate 51-48. Update: This is currently being considered in the Senate as Senate Joint Resolution 15. House Joint Resolution 44 – A proposal to overturn the BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule for preparing and amending resource management plans. Today the House passed HJR …CONTINUE READING
A petition to list wild horses as endangered or threatened highlights questions about what our conservation laws should protect
Friends of Animals and The Cloud Foundation have filed a petition seeking listing of the wild horse in the American west as an endangered or threatened species. Given that, according to the petition itself, there are currently some 34,000 wild horses on public lands in the west (with other estimates closer to 50,000), listing …CONTINUE READING
A new report from UC Berkeley looks at the underused powers of the US Department of the Interior.
Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has announced its proposed rules for restricting greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, the climate focus of EPA and the states will first be on polishing the rules for final approval, then on the anticipated law suits, and then on the development of state plans to meet the …CONTINUE READING
On April 8, a federal magistrate judge issued the first major ruling in a California fracking lawsuit, finding that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to take the necessary “hard look” at the impact of hydraulic fracturing when it sold oil and gas leases in California. …CONTINUE READING
Ecology Law Currents, the online companion to Ecology Law Quarterly, has just published an article sharply criticizing the Bureau of Land Management’s implementation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Here’s the editors’ synopsis: Currents has just published a touching and fascinating article on wild horse and burro removal from federal lands entitled “A …CONTINUE READING
Think the executive branch is one big happy family under the benevolent direction of (any) president? Think again. Power struggles over turf and substantive outcomes are frequent, and success in those struggles depends on a lot more than just who has the ear of the president at the moment. Sometimes it takes litigation, which has …CONTINUE READING