DOI Attempting to Shut Out Western Energy Alliance from Legal Case on Leasing

December 6, 2013

UPDATE (Dec 9): Today’s hearing has been postponed. The Magistrate Judge assigned to the case recused himself at the last minute. We will notify you when the hearing is rescheduled.

Oral arguments on December 9th at the Colorado District Court 

(DENVER) – Western Energy Alliance will be in court on Dec. 9 to attempt to prevent the Department of the Interior (DOI) from locking out the oil and natural gas industry in a case involving leasing on federal lands. The Alliance will be arguing that it should be allowed to intervene to ensure industry interests are fully considered in a lawsuit regarding disclosure of lease nominations prior to sale. The outcome has broad implications for DOI leasing policy into the future.

 “This situation is a different twist on the usual sue-and-settle strategy used frequently by environmental special interests and the federal government over the last few years,” said Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs. “DOI wants to resolve a lawsuit requiring disclosure of competitive commercial information that will specifically harm oil and natural gas companies without giving industry a seat at the table.

 “The government is trying to convince the court that Western Energy Alliance shouldn’t be allowed to intervene in the case because oil and natural gas companies have no stake in the outcome. The government’s argument is bizarre, given the direct impact on companies and the long-term implications for oil and natural gas leasing on federal lands,” concluded Sgamma.

Who: Ezekiel (Zeke) J. Williams, Managing Director, Lewis Bess Williams & Weese

What: Hearing on Western Energy Alliance’s motion to intervene in San Juan Citizens Alliance v. U.S. Department of the Interior, Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-02466-REB-BNB

When: 1:30 p.m. MST, Mon., Dec. 9, 2013

Where: U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Courtroom A-401, 4th Floor, Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse, 901 19th Street, Denver, Colo.

Sgamma will be available to speak to the media after the hearing.