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Western Energy Alliance v. Salazar

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20052
Nos. 11-8071, (10th Cir., 03/12/2013)

The Tenth Circuit dismissed an appeal brought by energy companies arguing that §266(b)(1)(A) of the Mineral Leasing Act requires BLM to issue oil and gas leases within 60 days of payment. The energy companies were the highest bidders on 118 pending leases, and because more than 60 days had passed since they had paid BLM in full, they filed suit seeking to compel BLM to issue the leases. But the lower court construed §266(b)(1)(A) as imposing a mandate on BLM to decide whether to issue such pending oil and gas leases within 60 days of payment. The companies, therefore, appealed. But the lower court's order was not a final decision, as it also remanded the matter to BLM to make decisions on the withheld lease applications within 30 days of the order. Accordingly, the court lacked jurisdiction under the administrative-remand rule, and the appeal was dismissed.