Climate Change: Attention Must Be Paid

In Wildearth Guardians v. Zinke decided today by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Contreras, J.), the court returned to the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) the BLM’s authorization of oil and gas leasing on Federal land in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. The court stated:

[T]he Court concludes that—withholding judgment on whether BLM’s leasing decisions were correct—BLM did not sufficiently consider climate change when making those decisions. BLM summarized the potential on-the-ground impacts of climate change in the state, the region, and across the country. It failed, however, to provide the information necessary for the public and agency decision makers to understand the degree to which the leasing decisions at issue would contribute to those impacts. In short, BLM did not adequately quantify the climate change impacts of oil and gas leasing.