“A plan opening broad swaths of western Colorado to oil and gas development is among at least 14—and possibly several dozen—Bureau of Land Management plans and decisions that environmental groups say they expect to challenge in the wake of a recent Montana federal court decision.
Legal analysts and oil and gas industry groups, however, say it’s unclear how vulnerable other land bureau plans actually are to legal challenge outside of Montana.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana decidedOct. 16 that William Perry Pendley, the agency’s former acting director, unlawfully approved resource management plans for the Lewistown, Missoula, and Miles City areas, even if a lower-level official under Pendley signed off on them. Only the agency’s director can make those calls, the court said.”