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Vol. 15, No. 30 Week of July 25, 2010
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

OCS lease sale program still under appeal

A case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, appealing the entire MMS 2007-12 outer continental shelf lease sale program, including the 2008 Chukchi Sea lease sale, has yet to be resolved.

In an April 2009 ruling in that appeal, the D.C. court said that MMS had not done an adequate analysis of the potential environmental impacts of oil and gas leasing in the Alaska OCS. The court subsequently directed MMS to rework the environmental analysis for reconsideration, saying that the April decision only had the effect of withdrawing Alaska lease sales (including the Chukchi Sea sale) from the lease sale program.

In April of this year the U.S. Department of the Interior published its proposed revised environmental analysis and lease sale program, affirming the 2008 Chukchi Sea lease sale. The revised environmental analysis went through a 30-day public review. On June 18 the U.S. Department of Justice notified the D.C. court that the Department of the Interior was still in the process of revising its lease sale program document, having received more than 100,000 comments during the public review.

—Alan Bailey



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