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National Helium Corp. v. Morton

ELR Citation: 1 ELR 20478
Nos. No. 71-1369, 455 F.2d 650/3 ERC 1129/(10th Cir., 10/04/1971) Aff'd

Opinion of district court, 1 ELR 20157, enjoining Interior Secretary from cancelling helium purchase contract prior to filing environmental impact statement under NEPA, affirmed. Assertion of NEPA argument by appellees supplies federal question necessary for jurisdiction. Similarly, alleged NEPA violation by Secretary removes sovereign immunity defense. Court will not weigh conflicting interests of appellees to determine whether motivation for bringing suit was financial or desire to protect public interest. Depletion of helium resource is environmental question which Secretary must consider before acting, although formal Interior Department hearings are not required by NEPA.

Counsel for National Helium Corp.:
Robert L. Ackerly
Herbert L. Fenster
Sellers, Conner & Cuneo
1625 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20013
(202) 783-0600

Wendell J. Doggett
National Helium Corp.
Liberal, KS 67901
(316) 624-7231

Emmet A. Blaes
Jacherns, Sargent & Plaes
Wichita, KS 67202
(316) 265-8591

Joseph W. Kennedy
Morris, Laing, Evans & Brock
Wichita, KS 67202
(316) 262-2671

Mark H. Adams II
Adams, Jones, Robinson & Manka
Wichita, KS 67202
(316) 265-8591

George E. Peabody
Cities Service Helex, Inc.
Oklahoma City, OK 73100
(405) 232-5481

William H. Allen
Covington & Burling
888 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 293-3300

R. Price Howard
Phillips Petroleum Company
Bartlesville, OK 74003
(918) 336-6600

Counsel for Defendants:
Stuart E. Schiffer Attorney
Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
(202) 737-8200

Before BREITENSTEIN, HILL, and DOYLE, Circuit Judges.