Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘DC Federal Court’

  1. Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 257 was vacated on 1/27/2022 because DC Federal Court Judge Contreras ruled that BOEM failed to consider the “positive” effect that higher prices (the logical result of lower production) would have on reducing foreign consumption and the associated GHG emissions. Think about that in the context of the timing and magnitude of this ruling. Why did the court fail to consider the other logical consequences of tight oil supplies and higher prices – increased coal consumption and energy poverty? To avoid the latter, India, the world’s second largest coal producer and consumer, is boosting coal production to record highs.
  2. The Administration, which had only proceeded with Sale 257 because a prior court ruling invalidated the President’s leasing pause, chose not to appeal the decision by Judge Contreras. Why appeal a decision that is consistent with your agenda?
  3. The legislatively mandated 5 year leasing program, without which no Federal offshore leases sales may be conducted, expires at the end of June. This is why last week’s cancellation of the 3 remaining sales in the current 5 year program was rather meaningless. Despite bipartisan congressional support for prompt completion of a new 5 year plan, this does not appear to be a high priority for the Department of the Interior. The only hope for a sale this year might be a successful appeal by Lousisiana and API of Judge Contreras’s Sale 257 ruling.

Read Full Post »

On 2/11/2022 Judge Cain (Western District of Louisiana) issued ruled that a Biden executive order contradicts Congress’ intent regarding the consideration of global effects:

The Court finds that EO 13990 contradicts Congress’ intent regarding legislative rulemaking by mandating consideration of the global effects. The Court further finds that the President lacks power to promulgate fundamentally transformative legislative rules in areas of vast political, social, and economic importance, thus, the issuance of EO 13990 violates the major questions doctrine.

p. 33 of the ruling

Judge Cain’s order seems, at least to this non-lawyer, to contradict the 1/27/2022 ruling by Judge Contreras, DC Federal Court, that BOEM “acted arbitrarily and capriciously in excluding foreign consumption from their greenhouse gas emissions calculation.” The plaintiffs had asserted that BOEM failed to consider the effect that reduced US offshore production (and higher prices) would have on foreign consumption and the associated GHG emissions. (Poverty is good?)

Read Full Post »

The very disappointing 68 page ruling on Lease Sale 257 boils down to the following:

  1. BOEM had correctly determined that, from a GHG standpoint, US offshore production was preferable to more carbon intensive foreign production.
  2. The plaintiffs, who are seemingly intent on stopping all oil and gas production regardless of the economic consequences, argued that BOEM failed to consider the “positive” effect that higher prices (the logical result of lower production) would have on reducing demand.
  3. In particular, the plaintiffs asserted that BOEM failed to consider the effect that reduced production (and higher prices) would have on foreign consumption and the associated GHG emissions.
  4. The judge not only decided in favor of the plaintiffs, but ruled that BOEM’s omission was so serious that the lease sale had to be vacated.
  5. The judge reached this decision even though (1) the five year leasing plan expires in June leaving the timing of any future sale very much in doubt and (2) all of the sale 257 bids are now public information compromising the integrity of the leasing process at the next sale (if and when that occurs).

So, if BOEM has to consider the environmental benefits of higher oil and gas prices, shouldn’t they also have to consider the negative economic and environmental effects from the resulting price inflation and energy poverty? Are higher prices, which are most detrimental to the poor and to developing nations, “energy justice?”

If your only objective is the destruction of the US offshore oil and gas program, this was a great decision. For everyone else, this is yet another reason to be concerned about our energy future.

Read Full Post »

The Court VACATES and REMANDS the Record of Decision for Lease Sale 257 to the Department of the Interior.

Rudolph Contreras, US District Judge

The decision is yet another victory for OPEC+, which is doing quite well of late, and a loss for our economy and energy security.

So here is where we are:

  • June 15, 2021: The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issues injunction invalidating Federal oil and gas leasing “pause”
  • September 30, 2021: BOEM announces Sale 257 for the Gulf of Mexico
  • November 17, 2021: BOEM holds Sale 257
  • January 27. 2022: The U.S. District Court for DC vacates Sale 257 and remands the Record of Decision to the Dept. of the Interior
  • Five year leasing plan expires in June 2022
  • So is the ball in Louisiana’s (Federal) court?

Read Full Post »