Appeals Court Asked to Reverse Stay of BLM Waste Prevention Rule

EDF, Allies Ask Tenth Circuit to Overturn Lower Court Ruling Granting the Stay

July 30, 2018
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

(July 30, 2018) EDF and its allies are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to reverse an ill-considered lower-court stay of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) standards that reduce the waste of natural gas on public and tribal lands.

The groups filed their opening brief in the appeal today.

“The district court committed a serious legal error by enjoining implementation of a nationwide regulation without concluding that the four prerequisites for granting this extraordinary relief had been met,” the groups say in their brief. “If allowed to stand, the Stay Order would create a new, lower standard for enjoining agency actions – a standard that directly conflicts with this Court’s longstanding precedent.”

BLM’s Waste Prevention Standards require oil and gas companies operating on federal and tribal lands to take common sense measures to reduce preventable leaks of natural gas. Between 2009 and 2015, those companies wasted enough natural gas to supply more than 6.2 million homes for an entire year.

The waste of natural gas on public and tribal lands costs taxpayers millions of dollars. Preventing that waste means more royalty money for Western communities and tribes – money that can be used for roads and schools.

Natural gas that is wasted through leaks, venting or flaring also allows large amounts of unhealthy pollution into our air – including methane, which is a potent driver of climate change.

A lower court temporarily suspended portions of BLM’s Waste Prevention Standards. The states of California and New Mexico, and a group of 15 national, regional, tribal and local public health and environmental groups – including EDF – appealed that decision to the Tenth Circuit.

You can find more information – including all legal documents – on EDF’s website.

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