San Juan Citizens Alliance v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., 326 F. Supp. 3d 1227 (D. N.M. 2018)

Climate Change
Environmental Impact Assessment
Oil & Gas

San Juan Citizens Alliance v. Bureau of Land Management, 326 F. Supp. 3d 1227 (D. N.M. 2018)
(available at

The Plaintiffs in this case, a collection of citizens groups who enjoy the wildlands affected by the proposed development of 13 oil and gas leases, argued that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to adequately consider the downstream greenhouse gas emissions that would result from granting these leases. The Court agreed, and held that BLM’s failure to estimate the amount of GHG emissions from consumption of oil and gas produced as a result of development of the wells on the lease was arbitrary. The court noted that “effects that ‘are caused by the action and are later in time or farther removed in distance, but are still reasonably foreseeable’” are indirect effects and must be considered at the earliest stage feasible. Id., p. 1244 (internal citations omitted). The Court set aside the leases and directed BLM to revise its analysis of the indirect and cumulative impacts of the projected greenhouse gas emissions.  Id., p.p. 1250, 1256.