On Monday, January 22nd the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an environmental law case that centers on the question of whether the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) allows an agency such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) to designate private land as “critical habitat” when it is neither a habitat nor critical.
In response to stiff opposition, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced Tuesday that it would not include Florida’s coast in the five-year offshore leasing plan as originally proposed last week.
The U.S. Department of the Interior on Thursday proposed a five-year offshore leasing plan that opens up nearly all federal waters to potential drilling.
On December 29, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) (82 FR 61703) that would amend the 2016 rules which established Oil and Gas Production Safety Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.
On December 29, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) published a final rule (82 FR 61924) which was effective immediately, which rescinded the BLM’s 2015 rule affecting oil and gas hydraulic fracturing operations on Federal and Indian lands. BLM concluded that these rules “impose administrative burdens and compliance costs that are not justified.”