BLM Files Settlement Agreement to Analyze O&G Parcels

Under a settlement agreement expected to be filed in U.S. District Court on March 12, 2010, the Montana Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would conduct further environmental analyses on 61 oil and gas lease parcels.

The Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC), Oil and Gas Accountability Project, and Wild Earth Guardians filed suit against the BLM in December 2008. They are represented by the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC).

The plaintiffs protested four 2008 Montana competitive oil and gas lease sales. The plaintiffs alleged that BLM should have analyzed the potential climate change effects of leasing the parcels. The BLM dismissed the protests. The WELC then filed suit in U.S. District Court.

If the court approves the settlement agreement and dismisses the lawsuit, the BLM will suspend the 61 leases while it conducts further environmental analyses.