Challenge to BLM Approval of Natural Gas Plant
Biodiversity Conservation Alliance v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., No. 09-8011, involved several environmental and citizens' groups challenge to a 2003 Bureau of Land Management resource management plan amendment allowing natural gas development in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendants on the ground that the Bureau reasonably concluded that phased development was impractical and would not meet the project's purposes, and this ground is an adequate basis for the Bureau's decision.
As the court wrote: "In this appeal, several environmental and citizens' groups challenge a 2003 Bureau of Land Management resource management plan amendment allowing natural gas development in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. The groups argue that the Bureau violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it refused to study in detail their proposal to phase development in the Basin over decades. The district court held that the Bureau adequately considered their suggested alternative. W. Org. of Res. Councils (WORC) v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., 591 F. Supp. 2d 1206, 1228 & n.4 (D. Wyo. 2008). We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and affirm. The Bureau reasonably refused to give detailed study to a plan that would not meet the project's purposes."
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