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Energy Action Educ. Found. v. Andrus

Citation: 10 ELR 20905
No. No. 80-2127, 654 F.2d 735/(D.C. Cir., 10/30/1980) Injunctive relief issued

After rejecting appellants' earlier challenge to the Department of the Interior's alleged failure to implement alternative leasing systems under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), 10 ELR 20092, the court now agrees that the Secretaries of Energy and the Interior have violated the Act and orders promulgation of regulations permitting noncash bonus bidding systems. Since § 8 of OCSLA requires the Secretary of the Interior to experiment over a five-year period with alternative bidding systems for OCS lease sales other than front-end cash bonus bidding, the court rules that he must experiment with all bidding system options even if Interior has otherwise satisfied OCSLA's minimum percentage requirement for experimenting with new leasing systems. The Secretary is not free to choose to experiment with some but not other bidding system options. Therefore, the Secretary of Energy must promulgate regulations on the major alternatives to front-end cash bonus bidding, including variable net profit share bidding. Furthermore, because of the delay in issuing regulations there has been no fair experimentation with three of the seven bidding systems enumerated in OCSLA during the first two years of the five-year period. The court orders the Secretaries of Energy and the Interior to issue the regulations before further lease sales may take place. Failure to issue regulations by mid-1981 constitutes a clear violation of OCSLA.

Counsel for Appellants
John Silard, Joseph L. Rauh Jr., Jonathan D. Schiller, H. Bartow Farr III
Rauh, Silard & Lichtman
1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 331-1795

Counsel for Appellees
Edward J. Shawaker; Sanford Sagalkin, Acting Ass't Attorney General; Peter R. Steenland Jr., Bruce C. Rashkow, Anne S. Almy
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2813

Counsel for Amicus Curiae Atlantic Richfield Co.
E. Edward Bruce, Mark D. Nozette, Constance J. Chatwood
Covington & Burling
888 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 452-6000

Joined by Robinson and Greene,* JJ.