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Shell Offshore Inc. v. Greenpeace, Inc.

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20053
Nos. 15-35392, (9th Cir., 03/04/2016)

The Ninth Circuit dismissed an environmental group's appeal of a preliminary injunction that barred it from interfering with oil exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea. The group challenged the injunction on several jurisdictional bases, as well as on the merits. But the injunction has expired and the oil companies do not seek to renew it. Accordingly, the appeal is moot. The group claimed that the appeal is not moot because contempt proceedings against it are still pending. But the lower court imposed a coercive civil contempt sanction against the group, and only compensatory contempt proceedings can survive the termination of an underlying injunction.