U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras is asking the bureau to redo its nine environmental assessments and Finding of No Significant Impact analyses, which federal law mandates must include thorough research on the impacts the projects may have on climate change. These documents failed to meet the requirement because they didn’t properly forecast the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from any drilling, as well as the future use of the oil and gas that get extracted.
The judge took a hard look at BLM’s actions after groups, including WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility, sued in 2016 over the federal agency’s leasing of some 460,000 acres of federal land across Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming under former President Barack Obama. The suit covers 473 oil and gas lease sales, but the judge ruled on only 282 in Wyoming for the time being.
An excerpt from Earther