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Center for Sustainable Economy v. Jewell

ELR Citation: 45 ELR 20046
Nos. 12-1431, (D.C. Cir., 03/06/2015)

The D.C. Circuit upheld DOI's five-year plan for oil and gas leases on the outer continental shelf (OCS). A nonprofit group argued that the 2012-2017 leasing schedule violated §18(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which governs how DOI is to balance competing economic, social, and environmental values. It also argued that DOI failed to strike an appropriate balance between environmental costs and national energy needs as required under the APA. But the group forfeited two of their challenges because they were not properly raised before the agency, and their remaining challenges failed on the merits. Despite the group's arguments to the contrary, DOI's qualitative analysis of the benefits of delaying leasing was adequate, and its methods for quantifying the time value of delaying leasing on the OCS are not yet so well established that DOI was required to use them in developing the 2012-2017 leasing program. The group also argued that DOI used a biased analytic methodology in its EIS and provided inadequate opportunity for public comment in violation of NEPA. But these claims were unripe.