DENVER (CN) – The 10th Circuit refused to let two energy companies intervene in an environmental group’s challenge to 16 oil and gas leases in Utah.
XTO Energy Inc. and EOG Resources Inc. moved to intervene in the challenge of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance to leases that had been issued by the Bureau of Land Management.
Those leases were “frozen” after the district court ruled in 2006 that the BLM had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to conduct a supplemental environmental analysis before issuing the leases.
The appeals court found that the energy companies should have objected when the matter was before the district court.
Judge Baldock acknowledged that the energy companies are not able to mine the areas covered by the leases, but said the court decided not to let them intervene because the situation would not cause “irreparable harm.”
The National Resources Defense Council and The Wilderness Society joined the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance in filing the lawsuit against the BLM, the Department of the Interior and its secretary, Dirk Kempthorne.