Another lawsuit won, but we still have work to do to defend the climate and public lands

It’s our latest win for public lands, climate, and justice!

At the end of September, a federal judge ruled the U.S. Department of the Interior illegally sold more than 58,000 acres of public lands in northwest Colorado for fracking.

The nearly 100 square miles of public lands are near Dinosaur National Monument, a national treasure. More fracking would have fueled more air pollution and more loss of public lands and wildlife habitat.

Critically, more fracking would have fueled more climate-destroying pollution.

In response to a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice on behalf of WildEarth Guardians and our partners with Rocky Mountain Wild, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the National Parks Conservation Association, a federal judge found the Interior Department ignored “evidence of reasonably foreseeable environmental effects” and “did not engage in the informed decision-making that is required under the National Environmental Policy Act”—our nation’s bedrock environmental law.

This latest win comes on the heels of many other courtroom victories holding oil and gas leasing on public lands to be illegal. We hope the Interior Department gets the message.

Because we’re not in the clear yet. In response to oil and gas industry demands, President Biden’s Interior Department is pressing to sell more public lands for fracking.

While this shocking about-face on climate by the Biden administration threatens to further undermine our climate and put public lands at risk, this latest court win confirms that oil and gas leasing is simply not legal.

This victory is critical for keeping us on track for climate action and climate justice.

Let’s celebrate and maintain our resolve to keep confronting fossil fuels and make protecting our climate a number one priority. You’ve been with us every step of the way and your generous support will continue to fuel our success.

Like what you just read? Sign up for our E-news. Want to do more? Visit our Action Center.

About the Author

Jeremy Nichols | Climate and Energy Program Director, WildEarth Guardians

Read more from