Federal Judge Rudolph Contreras blocked drilling in Wyoming in 500 sq.miles saying the government must consider climate change impacts in leasing public land for energy exploration. The order marks the latest in court rulings over the past decade that have faulted the U.S. for inadequate consideration of greenhouse gas emissions when approving uses of federal land.
After court rulings over climate change, BLM reconsidered fossil fuel effects then re-affirmed approvals. That could happen again in this case with studies done before drilling proceeds, said Harry Weiss, a Philadelphia environmental lawyer whose clients include oil and gas companies.
“This decision should not be interpreted as a ban on leasing activities,” Weiss said. “The court is not ruling on whether it’s thumbs up or thumbs down. The court is simply grading how the administration did analyzing the issues.”