Center for Sustainable Economy, a Santa Fe, NM, environmental economics organization, sued the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management over the US Department of the Interior agency’s first 5-year US Outer Continental Shelf program.
BOEM scheduled offshore oil and gas lease sales in the 2012-17 period with an incomplete and flawed economic analysis, CSE argued in a lawsuit filed Dec. 17 in US District Court for the District of Columbia.
BOEM’s actions violated the National Environmental Policy Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and Administrative Procedure Act, CSE contended.
By failing to account for the option of waiting to lease offshore resources, BOEM also subjected the US public to a higher risk of spills while failing to maximize benefits from lease sales, CSE added.
US Interior Sec. Ken Salazar approved BOEM’s initial 5-year OCS program as a successor agency to the US Minerals Management Service on Aug. 27. Fifteen lease sales—12 in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico and 3 off Alaska’s coast—are scheduled.
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