Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Wyoming Oil Lease Sale Over ‘Climate Change’

6:10 PM 03/20/2019 | Energy Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

A federal judge temporarily blocked new oil lease auctions in Wyoming on Tuesday after finding the Department of the Interior “did not sufficiently consider climate change” when proposing the lease sales, The Washington Post reports.

Washington D.C. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled the government violated federal law and did not fully study the environmental impact of oil development on 300,000 acres of federal land. (RELATED: Federal Oil And Gas Lease Sales Break $1 Billion In 2018, Nearly Triple Previous Record)

Contreras did not void leases already sold, but he ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to redo the environmental reviews used to approve the leases. The BLM must include in the redone reviews the effects of each new oil well on overall emissions in the U.S., including the pumped oil’s downstream effects, Contreras’s ruling said.

“Given the national, cumulative nature of climate change, considering each individual drilling project in a vacuum deprives the agency and the public of the context necessary to evaluate oil and gas drilling on federal land before irretrievably committing to that drilling,” he wrote, according to WaPo.

Former President Barack Obama appointed Contreras to the federal bench in March 2012.

Contreras’s ruling came after the activist groups WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility sued the federal government over the lease sale in 2016.

“In spite of the President’s commitment to US leadership in moving towards a clean energy future … Federal Defendants continue to authorize the sale and issuance of hundreds of federal oil and gas leases on public lands across the Interior West without meaningfully acknowledging or evaluating the climate change implications of their actions,” the two groups wrote in their lawsuit, according to Ars Technica.

An oil train moves past the loading rack at the Eighty-Eight Oil LLC's transloading facility in Ft. Laramie, Wyoming July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

An oil train moves past the loading rack at the Eighty-Eight Oil LLC’s transloading facility in Ft. Laramie, Wyoming July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The BLM’s original environmental assessments included information on Wyoming’s climate and how climate change might factor into its future. The assessments granted that oil drilling in the area would increase the effects of climate change but declined to say by how much. Accurately predicting how many oil wells would eventually be dug is too difficult for any meaningful analysis, the BLM said, according to Ars.

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From The Daily Caller

Interesting political post script.

Judge Contreras is the same judge that recused himself from the Michael Flynn case shortly after accepting his plea.~ctm

Guest commentary by David Middleton

This is the key piece of information:

The BLM’s original environmental assessments included information on Wyoming’s climate and how climate change might factor into its future. The assessments granted that oil drilling in the area would increase the effects of climate change but declined to say by how much. Accurately predicting how many oil wells would eventually be dug is too difficult for any meaningful analysis, the BLM said…

It’s not just difficult, it’s impossible to perform any meaningful analysis on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions that may result from lease sales and awarding leases. Not all leases get drilled and not all wells are productive.

Wyoming’s Powder River Basin has recently become very active. While not yet coming close to the Williston Basin in North Dakota, oil production has been on the increase over the past few years:

Energy Information Administration

WYOMING OIL
How strong is Wyoming’s oil recovery, and will it last?
Heather Richards Jan 27, 2018

Wyoming oil is saving the day, something that hasn’t been said for more than two years. State revenue forecasts are improving. The oilfield service industry is climbing. And the general mood has gone from “cautiously optimistic” to just plain “optimistic.”

Proponents point to high producing wells in the Powder River Basin, a flush of new applications to drill and most of all the rising price of crude as evidence of a turnaround.

[…]

In Wyoming, a state depleted of once robust fossil fuel revenues, the recovery has spurred hope. Oil is just one of the three commodities that tanked in recent years, but its comeback has brought unexpected revenue right before a legislative budget session.

[…]


Operators started looking at Wyoming as a deal, and that competition pushed up the cost of buying leases in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.
“We haven’t seen that in a long, long, long time,” Hinchey said of the $15,000 per acre leases sold in 2017. Companies were dropping millions simply to stake out a claim, he said.

“When you buy a lease like that, you want to make it productive, because you’re spending a lot of money,” he said.

Large companies like EOG Resources, Anadarko, Chesapeake and Devon have all made investments in eastern Wyoming.

Coinciding with the current uptick in price are new strides in the drilling plans that these companies have set up in earlier years.

The Bureau of Land Management released a draft environmental impact statement Friday for a joint oil and gas project between five major players north of Douglas. The 5,000-well project is planned over a 10-year period, and according to BLM’s estimates could generate 8,000 jobs.

Major players like EOG and mid-sized operators like Wold Oil are figuring out the puzzle of Wyoming’s rock. They are drilling horizontally, keeping within a band of oil saturated sediment for up to 2 miles.

“Clearly Wyoming is benefiting a lot from this,” said Godby, the economist, of the oil recovery. “How strong is this? That’s hard to say.”

Casper Star Tribune

Clearly the agents of the Obama maladministration can’t allow this happen… Why do I refer to Judge Contreras as an agent of the Obama maladministration?

Contreras was close friends with Peter Sztrok, the disgraced former FBI agent who engineered a perjury trap for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Contreras is believed to be the FISA Court judge who signed off on the first fraudulent FISA warrant for Carter Page. Contreras accepted Flynn’s guilty plea, even though Sztrok’s initial report said Flynn didn’t lie. Contreras was removed from the Flynn case and replaced by Emmet Sullivan, who immediately issued a Brady Order to Mueller’s inquisitors demanding they turn over any and all exculpatory evidence they had in their possession.

And now this…

U.S. Ordered to Halt Oil and Gas Drilling in Swath of Wyoming

Andrew Harris

The U.S. must stop drilling for oil and gas on more than 300,000 acres in Wyoming because the Bureau of Land Management failed to account for the cumulative effect of the activity on global climate change, a federal judge in Washington ruled.

[…]

“Given the national, cumulative nature of climate change, considering each individual drilling project in a vacuum deprives the agency and the public of the context necessary to evaluate oil and gas drilling on federal land before irretrievably committing to that drilling,” U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras said in a 60-page decision.

[…]

Contreras faulted the federal government for merely summarizing the potential impacts without elaborating on the degree to which its decisions may contribute to climate change. He stopped short of voiding the Wyoming leases at issue, ordering the bureau to re-examine nine of its environmental assessments and “no significant impact” findings, and barring the BLM from authorizing new drilling in that state until it satisfies its environmental-law obligations.

[…]

The groups suing, Wildearth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility, challenged the federal government’s approval of 473 oil and gas leases covering 463,553 acres across the three states.

The judge hasn’t yet issued his rulings on the challenged Colorado and Utah leases.

[…]

MSN

The judge is probably waiting to see how quickly his ruling gets overturned before moving on to Colorado and Utah. This is a standard tactic of Enviromarxist terrorists environmental activists. They sue the regulatory agency to invalidate lawfully issued drilling permits or otherwise render lawfully awarded mineral leases un-drillable. This is what they did to Shell in the Chukchi Sea… just dumber. They aren’t challenging drilling permits. They are challenging the awarding of leases. In a drilling permit application, it’s at least mathematically possible to estimate future greenhouse gas emissions from individual wells. It’s absolutely impossible to do this at the time the leases are issued for the purpose of calculating the cumulative future emissions for a leasing area.

If this doesn’t get slapped down very quickly, this form of Enviromarxist terroristic environmental activist lawfare will spread…

Overnight Energy: Judge halts drilling on Wyoming public lands over climate change | Dems demand details on Interior’s offshore drilling plans | Trump mocks wind power

BY MIRANDA GREEN – 03/20/19

JUDGE TEMPORARILY HALTS DRILLING IN WYOMING OVER CLIMATE CHANGE: A federal judge late Tuesday temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on thousands of acres of public land in Wyoming, ruling that the Trump administration failed to “sufficiently consider climate change.”

The decision by Judge Rudolph Contreras of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to adequately assess the environmental impacts of drilling on the roughly 300,000 acres by not studying how each proposed drilling project could contribute to overall U.S. carbon emissions.

[…]

“Climate change, and humanity’s ability to combat it, are increasingly prominent topics of public discourse. This case concerns the attention the government must give climate change when taking action that may increase its effects,” he wrote in his opinion. “BLM failed to take a ‘hard look’ at [greenhouse gas] emissions from the Wyoming Lease Sales.”

[…]

DEMS DEMAND OFFSHORE DRILLING INFO BEFORE CONFIRMATION HEARING: A group of Senate Democrats are calling on the Interior Department to release more details about its anticipated offshore drilling plan prior to next week’s confirmation hearing for acting Secretary David Bernhardt.

The group of 17 senators on Wednesday sent a letter to Bernhardt asking him to provide them a copy of the latest five-year plan currently being drafted by Interior, known as the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program.

[…]

“The American public and their elected representatives in Congress deserve to understand your vision for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) before we consider your nomination to serve as Secretary of the Interior,” the senators wrote.

The letter was signed by, among others, Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). It specifically asked Interior to provide them with prior insight into which coastal areas will be included in the draft plan.

[…]

The plan to expand offshore drilling comes as the Trump administration has beefed up its energy independence push, including strides to make available more public land for oil and gas exploration.

The administration still faces a number of hurdles when it comes to tapping into offshore oil and gas reservoirs, including figuring out where exactly they are. Doing so would likely include seismic testing, which environmentalist and animal advocates have long warned could cause harm to sea animals.

[…]

The Hill

Contreras’ ruling is nothing more than an unlawful continuation of Obama maladministration regulatory malfeasance. Should the Trump administration attempt to open some of the 94% of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) currently off limits to exploration & production (E&P) activities, the same sort of lawfare will be waged against it.

American Petroleum Institute

This claim is simply idiotic…


The administration still faces a number of hurdles when it comes to tapping into offshore oil and gas reservoirs, including figuring out where exactly they are. Doing so would likely include seismic testing, which environmentalist and animal advocates have long warned could cause harm to sea animals

Firstly, there is no such thing as “seismic testing.” Secondly, marine seismic surveys have been conducted over just about every square meter of the outer continental shelves of the world over the past 50+ years, with no evidence that it has harmed marine life… At least not due to the use of marine airguns.

If these eco-nuts could successfully invalidate mineral leases in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, they could probably do the same in the Gulf of Mexico, which only trails behind Texas in oil production. And that would take a big bite out of American Energy Dominance…

Energy Information Administration

Hat tip to SMC and CTM for bringing this to my attention.

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76 thoughts on “Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Wyoming Oil Lease Sale Over ‘Climate Change’

  1. Is this judicial decision grounds for impeachment on the basis of political bias?
    Where is a good lawyer when you need one?

    • It absolutley is. But it would take a majority of the House of Representatives and 2/3 of the Senate to impeach and remove this @$$ hat.

      • Or the good judge can visit the Cibolo Creek Ranch in the Big Bend area of Texas and spend the night.

        • Simply include, what all other environmental reports have fail to, the environmental benefit of the release of the stored carbon and create a case where the positives outweigh the negatives.

          • Exactly!
            The climate will warm an infinitesimal amount, and the planet will get a little bit greener.
            Both benefit humanity.

      • Is this judicial decision grounds for impeachment….

        “DUH”, it was not a “judicial decision”, …… it was a “judicial edict (order)”

        A better question is, … what constitutional right did said Justice have for issuing said “judicial decision”, given the following COTUS context?

        United States courts of appeals

        Because the courts of appeals possess only appellate jurisdiction, they do not hold trials. Only courts with original jurisdiction hold trials and thus determine punishments (in criminal cases) and remedies (in civil cases). Instead, appeals courts review decisions of trial courts for errors of law. Accordingly, an appeals court considers only the record (that is, the papers the parties filed and the transcripts and any exhibits from any trial) from the trial court, and the legal arguments of the parties
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_courts_of_appeals

        Appellate jurisdiction refers to the power of a higher court to review and revise a lower court’s decision. … III, § 2 of the Constitution vests appellate jurisdiction in the Supreme Court, and 28 USCA §§ 1291–1295 grant appellate jurisdiction to lower federal courts of appeals.
        https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/appellate-jurisdiction/

    • Does the Federal Judge drive a car? Fly on a plane? Heat his house with NG? Can someone file a complaint against him for exacerbating climate change?

      • Hi, please delete this comment. Thank you. I do not wish it to appear out of fear of what powers they have.

      • Well, well, well…
        The judge who blocked this project, Rudolph (Rudy) Contreras, an Obama appointee, is also one of the FISA judges who approved the warrants to spy on our President.

        Coincidence?

        • “The BLM must include in the redone reviews the effects of each new oil well on overall emissions in the U.S., including the pumped oil’s downstream effects, Contreras’s ruling said.” Is this a new legal requirement, or is it a judge legislating?

          • Contreras’ ruling is totally fracking retarded… The fracking idiot explains why it’s physically impossible for the BLM to comply with his ruling… in his frivolous ruling

            The EAs acknowledge that oil a gas drilling on leased parcels will emit GHGs, and they describe the sources of those emissions, but they do not attempt to quantify and project the GHG emissions likely to result from a given lease sale. For instance, certain EAs acknowledge that each potential oil or gas well on the leased parcels could emit approximately 0.00059 metric tons of carbon dioxide,12 but they state that “[t]he [total] amount of increased emissions cannot be quantified at this time since it is unknown how many wells might be drilled, the types of equipment needed if a well were to be completed successfully . . . or what technologies may be employed by a given company for drilling any new wells.” AR13989; see also AR13754; AR28220; AR55015–16. Likewise, certain EAs incorporate a report quantifying and projecting consumption-based GHG emissions in Wyoming through 2020—the “Wyoming GHG Inventory”—but the EAs do not attempt to apply those projections to particular lease sales. See AR3412; AR19503.

            Although the EAs acknowledge that GHG emissions may contribute to climate change, they conclude that “[t]he inconsistency in results of scientific models used to predict climate change at the global scale coupled with the lack of scientific models designed to predict climate change on regional or local scales, limits the ability to quantify potential future impacts of decisions made at this level.” AR3435; see also AR28219. Ultimately, the EAs conclude that “[w]hen compared to total national or global emissions, the amount [of GHG emissions] released as a result of potential production from the proposed lease tracts would not have a measurable effect,” AR13989, or would represent only an “incremental contribution to the total regional and global GHG emission levels.” AR55023.

            Finally, the EAs emphasize that the leasing stage is a preliminary step towards oil and gas drilling, but that specific drilling projects are not guaranteed to move forward simply because a given lease was sold. For instance, the EAs state that “[t]he offering and subsequent issuance of oil and gas leases is strictly an administrative action, which, in and of itself, does not cause or directly result in any surface disturbance.” AR3382; see also, e.g., AR13718; AR19458; AR54983. The EAs also state that “BLM cannot determine at the leasing stage whether or not a nominated parcel will actually be leased, or if it is leased, whether or not the lease would be explored or developed.” AR3382; see also AR13718; AR19458–59.  They note that

            BLM cannot determine exactly where a well or wells may be drilled or what technology that [sic] may be used to drill, complete and produce wells, so the impacts listed [in the EA] are more generic, rather than site-specific. Additional NEPA and technical engineering analysis would be conducted prior to approval of an APD to ensure that the proposal is compliant with all Federal and/or state rules and regulations.

            AR3426; see also AR13744; AR19518; AR55008. Accordingly, the EAs conclude that the “filing of an [APD] may be the first useful point at which a site-specific environmental appraisal [of a lease parcel] can be undertaken.” 

            Then he proceeded to rule that BLM had to produce a detailed comprehensive forecast of the total effect, full life cycle, that the 11 most recent BLM lease sales would have on the climate. The BLM in the Wyoming region holds 4 lease sales per year. This Obama hack basically nullified 3 years of lawfully conducted lease sales on no other basis than his own mental greentardation.

    • Perhaps this is an opportunity. The issue seems to be that an unknown climate effect was initially specified and needs to be quantified, rather than ignored. Even based on the worst case ECS claimed by the IPCC, the climate effect of burning the maximum possible amount of recoverable oil can be bound to be less than an undetectable tiny fraction of a degree and no seismic studies are required to make this assessment.

      • co2isnotevil: “[…] the climate effect of burning the maximum possible amount of recoverable oil can be bound to be less than an undetectable tiny fraction of a degree […]”

        And let’s not forget the benefits of all that CO2 being released. The judge is remiss in not weighing the known benefits.

  2. Washington D.C. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras would probably find out upon ultimate appeal to SCOTUS sooner or later that it is not in her wheelhouse to decide these matters of greenhouse gas emissions. Activist judges now in both USA and Canada are doing structural damage to the economy and our ability as nations to uphold legal commerce. Witness what is going on in Canada on multiple files. It is time that society at large review and censure the ability of activist judges to disrupt the national and state/provincial economies, that is not expressly in their purvey.

  3. David

    “the same sore (sort?) of lawfare will be waged against it.

    Great post as always, tanx : )

  4. We need a Supreme Court ruling that forces the nation’s courts to consider the benefits of fossil fuels as well as the hazards.

    If activists are allowed to insist on complete safety from all hypothetical hazards, they can pretty much prevent everything. In theory, you couldn’t even drive to work … and anything you do at work would be a hypothetical hazard to someone anyway. Society would come to a screaming halt and we’d all die.

  5. From the article: “The assessments granted that oil drilling in the area would increase the effects of climate change but declined to say by how much.”

    Increase what effects of climate change? What a ridiculous statement! This is their argument?

    There are no effects of climate change (CAGW) evident. This judge is operating on a false assumption. CAGW is science fiction, judge.

      • IOW the judge does not have the technical qualifications to assess the evidence to come to an informed decision. But when did that ever matter to an activist judge?

      • But considering the possibility of an appeal, and an overturn of this judge order by the appeal court, then
        “The assessments grants that oil drilling in the area would increase the effects of climate change”,
        will be a good enough acceptable standard for such assessments, in all same or similar cases, with no any more intricate details needed.

        If the judge did arrive to conclude merely by his own personal opinion without relying in evidence or expert testimony about the actual technical validity of the assessment, then it is possible to consider a successful appeal against his decision. (regardless how simple or short in detail the technical assessment might have seemed to the judge)

        Just trying a look at it from an optimistic angle… 🙂

        cheers

  6. When the last judge is strangled with the entrails of the last environmentalist we will have peace. Until then we will be tortured by watermelons in black robes.

  7. Everything hinges on maintaining a Supreme Court majority with a commitment to the integrity of the US Constitution and black letter law. This case is just one more of many examples of why that is so.
    The Eco-Marxists entire agenda eests on subverting written law and the Constitution. And they need a Dishonest Liberal majority on the Supreme Court for that. Thus we will hear ever louder calls from the Left to defeat Trump and Pack the Supreme Court with 4 additional Marxists.

  8. Maybe big oil should countersue the applicant ngos for restricting lawful commerce. There is no law against producing oil and gas. I would seek an injunction against the plaintiffs’ USE of oil and gas. This must be the activity that has 5he impacts. Maybe the customers want to us3 it for making plastics or cloth fibres or for lubrication. The O&G producers dont tell their customers what to do with the products.

    • No need to. Warren Buffett who backs the left will see this as a hit upon his oil trains and take action. It’s not nice to fool Unca Warren!!!

  9. Judge Napolitano reported on this decision, on Stuart Varney’s program this morning and claimed this Obama appointed Judge was a fine judge … a ‘conservative’ Judge … and made a perfectly logical decision. And no, at no time during his 3-1/2 minute soundbyte did he refer to a single fact written above, other than the ruling requiring the analysis of downstream impacts to every new oil well.

    • I don’t think Obama ever appointed a conservative judge, and Napolitano has said a lot of left wing loony things in the last little while, as Fox has been turning into another leftist fake news outfit.

      • I stopped listening to Napolitano a long time ago.
        When all the other Legal Analysts look sideways and mumble “I don’t know what he is talking about” when asked to explain one of his pronouncements, it is probably time to get a new Sr. Judicial Analyst.

      • Yes, Judge Nap. has been revealing his core values … one appearance at a time since Trump was elected by The People. And his values are rotten to the core.

  10. Given the national, cumulative nature of climate change………

    What does this gibberish even mean?
    If you were to believe the alarmist theory, catastrophic Global Warming is just that; global, not national. Thus what is the sense in restricting US production of fossil fuels if the nations that produce much more CO2 than the US are unconstrained?

    And what is “the cumulative nature of climate change”? Does one change in the climate add somehow onto the last change? (Of course I’m making fun of his ignorance; I presume he was trying to convey that CO2 emissions are cumulative.)

  11. I wonder if this is a good time to point out that the US Constitution does not give authority to the Federal Government to even own that land, let alone cordon it off for religious reasons.

    • Uh oh! You just got surveilled by the FBI as being an “anti-government” extremist who probably doesn’t “believe” in Federal Income taxes either … your constitutional thoughts are veryyyyyy dangerous … to power.

  12. Governments shouldn’t attempt to block oil and gas revenue.

    They are going to need it when the rampaging hordes of health claims against wind farm ultra sound start to roll in.

  13. Beyond belief.
    Venezuela, here we come.
    These judges are either ignorant, stupid, or corrupt. Or all three.
    I hope Ginsburg learned from her ridiculous recommendation of the South African constitution during the Egyptian Arab spring to young, reform-minded Egyptians that it is only in the context of a prosperous Western style culture that her concepts of law and justice have any meaning, and that destroying that culture will invalidate everything she stand for. Same for this judge.

  14. I’m just fed up with the continued advance of control over every aspect of our lives by the all powerful federal government. This week this truck driver had to drive a 2019 Volvo on a team run and it sucked. The experience reinforced my conviction that I want nothing to do with truck models after 2016. The proximity and lane departure “safety” systems making noises and flashing screens and lights of disapproval when that computer had no idea the conditions the driver is working under. I was driving through construction where there were multiple lane shifts and that damned thing reported back that I was diverging from the lane multiple times and I got a call asking me “what’s up”? I’ll stay in the 2015 Frightliner I’m driving until the wheels fall off or I retire. Which ever comes first.

    It’s official that we will be getting both dash cams and driver cams in the trucks before the end of the year. Dash cam welcome. Driver cam most certainly not!

    • The AI boosters tell us that you will be automated out of a job in a few years anyway, so no worries, right? Efficiency will increase and there will be fewer accidents we’re told; a new paradise. Sure – when pigs fly. But I suppose they are working on that too.

      I hope I’m around in 20 years so that I can throw all their stupid predictions in their faces.

  15. No surprise Judge Napolitano backs the decision.
    Murdoch is the worst of the Globalists because he’s two faced and incredibly sinister.
    He lives two lives.
    His real life is dedicated to taking as much as he can from you.
    He loves and wants carbon trading more than anything on earth.
    Trump is a fool for listening to him.

  16. This should be appealed. The basis of the decision is daffy. The impact on climate change is unknown.

  17. The laws and executive orders allowing Judge Contreras to intervene in this case should be revised. Giving standing to activist groups which are little more that predatory law firms is ridiculous.

  18. Well, as President, Obama said we cant just drill our way out of high gas prices, and his appointee is still trying to inflict that policy on all of us.

  19. 21 Mar: NYT: No Pipelines, No Service: Con Ed Cuts Off New Gas Hookups
    by Debra West
    YONKERS — Across the suburbs north of New York City, clusters of luxury towers are rising around commuter rail stations, designed to lure young workers seeking easy access to Manhattan. In all, 16,000 apartments and condominiums are in the works in more than a dozen towns, along with spaces for restaurants and shops.
    But the boom unfolding in Westchester County is under threat — not from any not-in-my-backyard opposition or a slumping real estate market.
    Instead, it is coming from something unexpected: a lack of natural gas.

    Con Edison, the region’s main utility, says its existing network of pipelines cannot satisfy an increasing demand for the fuel.
    As a result, the utility has taken the extreme step of imposing a moratorium on new gas hookups in a large swath of Westchester, including for residential buildings planned in Yonkers, White Plains and New Rochelle. The only other places in the country with similar restrictions are in Massachusetts, gas industry officials said.
    “It’s just a question of how people are going to be able to heat their homes and cook their food with the energy that’s available right now,’’ said Michael Clendenin, a spokesman for Con Ed.

    There is an ample supply of natural gas in the United States, but opposition to building or expanding interstate pipelines has caused delivery challenges in the Northeast, according to industry officials. Two counties in western Massachusetts have had a moratorium on new gas hookups since 2014.

    In Westchester, Con Ed’s moratorium, which is primarily concentrated in the southern section of the county, has set off anger and panic among developers and elected leaders who say it has left dozens of projects in limbo, creating uncertainty about housing, jobs and the area’s economic future…
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/nyregion/con-ed-natural-gas.html

  20. Where is that Animal House “Zero point zero” clip when you need it? Play that for the judge to explain the effect of each individual well and all downstream activity on temperature projection in 2100.

  21. Another example of too many COGS (Constantly Offended Green Socialists) and not enough sensible people engaged in the processes of government. It is a problem now across the whole world, except in totalitarian administrations. In those places (all socialist/communist) of course the views of the COGS are ignored because they are not free to comment.
    One other small point raised by a contributor at WUWT recently. The opposite of socialism is not capitalism, it is “freedom”.
    That is one of the most profound observations, I have read in recent times.
    Thank you WUWT for its openness, and for allowing all opinions/views to be submitted.

  22. that would take a big bite out of American Energy Dominance

    That’s what they try to do. It is not an accident they have common interest with both Russia and China.

    Climate change alarmists consist mostly of two broad groups.

    1) People who do it to forward socialist agenda. Destroying a good economy is plus for these people.
    2) Useful idiots

    Most calamities of AGW, could, in case they realize themselves, easily adapted to. Wyoming is by no means capable of even slowing AGW down. The emissions growth from China and India during the next 10 years will make the US look funny.

  23. This type of Judicial overreach is despicable.

    Federal judges don’t have the power or authority to hold an economy at randsom just because they have a personal delusional belief in the disconfirmed CAGW hypothesis.

    In accordance to the rules, an environmental impact study was conducted and submitted to the BLM on these new oil leases.

    This is just judicial nuisance and harassment by a Leftist judge that should be formally censured for his illegal actions as an example to other Leftist hack judges who want to play these silly political games.

  24. “In spite of the President’s commitment to US leadership in moving towards a clean energy future … Federal Defendants continue to authorize the sale and issuance of hundreds of federal oil and gas leases on public lands across the Interior West without meaningfully acknowledging or evaluating the climate change implications of their actions,” the two groups wrote in their lawsuit…

    It’s frustrating how often this same canard gets repeated ad nauseam and goes unchallenged: That there is such a thing as “clean energy”, and also that it is not fossil fuels. I have never even seen an attempt at defining “clean energy”, much less a rigorous quantitative explanation and defence of the term. I find it difficult to believe that there is a legal definition.

  25. I’m just wondering if District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras bothered to define specifically what he meant when he used the term “climate change”?

    Is it:
    — the world getting hotter in summers, or colder in winters, or vice versa?
    — movement of the polar vortex?
    — the world suffering from flooding, or from droughts?
    — the world suffering from too much CO2, or too little CO2 for optimum crop growth to feed humanity?
    — the world suffering from too much cloud cover, or too little cloud cover?
    — the world suffering from too many insects (pests), or too few insects (species extinction)?
    — the world suffering from too many El Ninos, or too many La Ninas?
    — the world suffering from too much wind (claimed increase in storms of all types) or too little wind (for windmill power farms to be reliable)?
    — the world suffering from too few sunspots or too many sunspots?
    — the world suffering from declining Arctic ice cover or increasing Antarctic ice cover?

    “If you can’t define something you have no formal rational way of knowing that it exists. Neither can you really tell anyone else what it is. There is, in fact, no formal difference between inability to define and stupidity.” — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    • It appears to be anything and everything that isn’t 72F and slightly breezy during daylight hours. And they propose to solve it by harvesting energy during those same daylight hours between 10AM and 2pm local
      before 10 and after 2 solar optimum diminishes

    • Robert, most definitely! The question: is it the twilight before the rising of the sun (the light of logic, scientific objectivity and “test all things, hold fast to that which is true” thinking) after a decade or more of its near-absence in the field of climate science and “green energy”, or is instead the twilight before the setting of sun (an extended period of abject mental darkness and superstitious beliefs by the majority of mankind related to climate science and “green energy”, similar to the previous Dark Ages in Europe)?

  26. Well, that’s why he was put on the bench – as an enforcer.

    That’s what Obama did for his tenure – stacked the deck with activists.

  27. I predicted when Gordon was elected Governor of Wyoming, the minerals industry would be destroyed within four years and many, many more bird choppers would destroy the landscape. He already vetoed a bill to let the legislature hire a lawyer to sue to put in coal ports on the west coast (that’s how I understood the bill). If you’re hoping for an appeal and the Governor has to be involved, cross it off your “wishing and hoping” list.

    Wyoming gave tax breaks, etc, to get the supercomputer in Cheyenne (complete with hundreds of virtue signaling bird choppers) to prove oil and gas and coal are horrible. Sorry, folks, Wyoming leaders are not interested in fossil fuels. They FULLY back global warming, bird choppers and teach climate change in schools. I cannot feel sorry for any of this. This is what Wyoming wants at the “leader” level, and we keep electing the Greens.

    • ‘we keep electing the Greens.’

      But it’s ‘for the environment’, right? So what harm can it do?

      That’s one of the frustrating things about places where people go who like wilderness – they don’t seem to understand the issue has been hijacked.

  28. This is what happens when the voice of reason sits idle or permits itself to be silenced.

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” -Edmund Burke

    And that’s exactly why Trump needs to do what the Republicans have been too incompetent to do: Get off his laurels and finally appoint a commission to review the so-called science of climate change. Its first order of business should be to review the alleged evidence that fossil fuel emission of carbon dioxide is the cause of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Several scientists have now shown conclusively that it’s not.

    https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/contradictions-to-ipccs-climate-change-theory/

    https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/what-is-really-behind-the-increase-in-atmospheric-co2/

    Once that’s established, the house of cards collapses.

  29. The incite, delay, and ignore playbook is still operating.
    – incite and delay on coal port access on federal waterway systems
    – delay pipeline approvals
    – delay any and all attempts to drill on federal shale lands
    – ignore official technical test reports on hydrocarbon leakage from frack wells in PA and WY
    – ignore any and all climate cycles that don’t fit the narrative of the Climate Crusades

  30. Juliana vs US plaintiffs motion to Ninth District Court of Appeal for preliminary injunction (filed Feb. 7, 2019):

    “Plaintiffs ask the Court to bar the government “from authorizing through leases, permits, or other federal approvals: (1) mining or extraction of coal on Federal Public Lands; (2) offshore oil and gas exploration, development, or extraction on the Outer Continental Shelf; and (3) development of new fossil fuel infrastructure, in the absence of a national plan that ensures the above-denoted authorizations are consistent with preventing further danger to these young Plaintiffs.”

    Methinks the activists are targeting the federal leasing authority, and that Judge Contreras got the memo.

    • That has been their modus operandi… Abrogate the rule of law, in favor of the rule of eco-fascist morons.

  31. It’s simple really judge. Any oil or gas production from this region will replace a similar amount from another part of the globe where there are less environmental regulations. Therefore any production in Wyoming will have zero impact on the world’s climate. Unless of course, judge, you are speaking on behalf of the UN/IPCC world “government”.

    • No… According to the Agents of OBAMA… It’s only OK if give tribute to Saint Al Gore before awarding the leases.

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