Pennaco Energy, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Interior
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
377 F.3d 1147 (10th Cir. 2004)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sought to auction three mineral leases for the extraction of coalbed methane (CBM). Prior to auctioning the leases, BLM reviewed two existing environmental impact statements (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The first (Buffalo EIS) analyzed potential environmental impacts of oil and gas extraction in the area of the three leases. The second (Wyodak EIS) was a study conducted after a lease was issued that analyzed potential environmental impacts of CBM extraction on a portion of the land covered by the three leases. BLM concluded that the combination of these EISs satisfied NEPA’s requirement that BLM take a “hard look” at environmental impacts of the three leases before auctioning them. BLM auctioned the leases to Pennaco Energy, Inc. (Pennaco) (plaintiff). Environmental groups appealed the decision to the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA). The IBLA reversed BLM’s decision, finding that BLM’s review of the existing EISs did not meet NEPA’s standard. The IBLA relied in part on a BLM memorandum acknowledging that CBM extraction was not considered in the Buffalo EIS. The IBLA also relied on a BLM budget request that stated that “existing NEPA documents were not adequate to address the environmental impacts of CBM development.” Pennaco appealed. The United States District Court for the District of Wyoming reversed the IBLA’s decision. The U.S. Department of the Interior (defendant) appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Briscoe, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 726,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 726,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,700 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.