BLM Reconsiders Oil and Gas Leases Following SUWA Appeal

May 7th, 2019 Written by suwa

Good news! Following SUWA’s appeal of the BLM’s decision to sell eight oil and gas leases for development at its March 2018 sale, the BLM has reluctantly agreed with SUWA that their leasing decision violated the law!

Hatch Point. Photo copyright Neal Clark/SUWA

SUWA argued that the BLM failed to take the necessary “hard look” at greenhouse gas emissions and climate change before offering the leases for sale. In a motion filed with the Interior Board of Land Appeals last Friday, the BLM requested that the Board remand the issue back to the agency for further consideration, including additional environmental analysis. As a result, the leases cannot currently be developed for oil and gas!

The leases included lands with wilderness characteristics in the Labyrinth Canyon, Hatch Wash/Hatch Canyon, and Goldbar Canyon areas near the Green River and Canyonlands National Park.

This victory protects the wilderness values in each of those remarkable areas — and also strengthens SUWA’s ongoing efforts to challenge other leasing decisions in Utah in which BLM has made the same mistakes.