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Alaska v. Kleppe

Citation: 6 ELR 20479
No. No. 76-0368, (D.D.C., 04/08/1976) Preliminary injunction denied

The court refuses to enjoin the lease sale of outer continental shelf lands in the Gulf of Alaska, notwithstanding a referral by EPA under the Clean Air Act to the Council on Environmental Quality. The environmental impact statement (EIS) adequately weighs the relevant costs and benefits of the proposed sale. After issuance of the final impact statement, EPA formally determined, under § 309 of the Clean Air Act, that the sale was environmentally unsatisfactory, and the Council on Environmental Quality recommended a delay and a scaled-down lease offering. Notwithstanding these cautions, the Interior Secretary proceeded with the sale in light of his broader responsibility to balance energy and environmental concerns. Plaintiffs have failed to show that the EIS insufficiently weighed these concerns or provided a basis for the Secretary's decision. Plaintiffs have not shown the Secretary's determination that obtaining new energy supplies outweighs environmental interests to be arbitrary and capricious; nor have they demonstrated the absence of harm to the public interest if the injunction were granted.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Bruce J. Terris
1908 Sunderland Place, NW
Washington DC 20036
(202) 785-1992

Counsel for Defendant
Gary Bohlke
Department of Interior
Washington DC 20006
(202) 343-6848