On the heels of yesterday’s day-long hearing on several preliminary injunction motions in litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) new final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal public lands, the Wyoming district court has temporarily ordered a delay of the rule’s implementation for at least several weeks. (See our prior coverage of the preliminary injunction briefing here.) According to official minutes from the proceedings, the court will stay the final rule’s effective date—originally set for today, June 24—in order to give the BLM more time to file its administrative record. Following that, the parties will have seven days to submit citations to those parts of the record that support their arguments. The court will then re-review the motions and issue its ruling within two weeks after receiving the supplemental filings.
Several news outlets have discussed this recent development:
- Reuters: “U.S. judge temporarily blocks new fracking rules on public lands”
- The Hill: “Judge blocks federal fracking rule”
- Denver Business Journal: “Judge delays BLM’s fracking rule, siding with Colorado attorney general”
- Casper Star Tribune: “Federal judge issues stay on BLM fracking rule”
- Law360 (subscription): “States Land 11th-Hour Stay Of BLM Fracking Rules”
UPDATE: The Wyoming federal district court issued its order postponing the effective date of the BLM’s final rule and it is available here.
Mineral Law Blog will continue to monitor and report on these legal challenges to the BLM’s new public lands hydraulic fracturing rule as they move forward.