Climate & Energy

Our world is warming, with dire consequences to the American West’s communities, lands, rivers, and wildlife.

BLM methane rule an important step for NM, nation (Press Release 1/22/16)

Reductions will benefit climate, improve health, reduce waste, and generate revenue

The Bureau of Land Management today released for public comment a proposed rule to rein in out-of-control methane waste on federal lands by the oil and gas industry. BLM is required to minimize the waste of publicly owned resources like methane, and we applaud the agency for taking a proactive approach to addressing this national problem that disproportionately impacts New Mexico.

Report: State regulations allow rampant natural gas waste (Press Release 1/13/16)

Strong BLM rule needed to prevent resource waste, protect public health, royalties, environment

Today, the Western Environmental Law Center and Western Organization of Resource Councils released a report on state oil and gas regulations for methane waste. The authors performed extensive research to determine whether anticipated federal standards are needed to fill holes in state oil and gas methane waste regulations for federal lands.

Lawsuit to Challenge Feds’ Approval of Decades More Coal Pollution at Four Corners (Press Release 12/21/15)


After years of refusal by U.S. government agencies to address coal pollution damage from the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine, Diné (Navajo), regional and national conservation groups today took joint legal action to seek justice for impacts to communities, the climate and endangered species. 

Rio Chama Slide Small

In Advance of Paris Climate Talks, Washington Court Recognizes Constitutional and Public Trust Rights and Announces Agency’s Legal Duty to Protect Atmosphere for Present and Future Generations (Press Release 11/20/15)

“[I]f ever there were a time to recognize through action this right to preservation of a healthful and pleasant atmosphere, the time is now”

Late last night, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill issued a groundbreaking ruling in the unprecedented case of eight youth petitioners who requested that the Washington Department of Ecology write a carbon emissions rule that protects the atmosphere for their generation and those to come.

Tipsheet Timeline: Washington Youth Climate Case (Press Release 11/19/15)


Soon, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill will issue a ruling in the unprecedented case of seven youth petitioners requesting the Washington Department of Ecology to write a carbon emissions rule that protects the atmosphere for their generation and those to come. The case has an interesting and meaningful history, which is important to understand in anticipation of the ruling. Please see the following quick reference guide to the case so far:

In Front of Packed Courtroom, Young Petitioners Ask Judge to Uphold Their Rights to a Safe Environment (Press Release 11/3/15)


Today, young Washington citizens sat in a packed King County courtroom and watched as their attorney, Andrea Rodgers gave a stunning and impassioned argument to the court as she fought for her clients’ right to a healthy environment and safe climate. Judge Hollis Hill heard oral argument in the important case brought by seven young petitioners to address Washington Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) persistent refusal to set science-based carbon pollution limits.

Montana Board of Environmental Review Rejects Coal Mine Expansion (Press Release 10/20/15)

MT DEQ Permit Did Not Adequately Protect Groundwater

On Friday, the Montana Board of Environmental Review rejected a Department of Environmental Quality coal mine expansion permit that would have doubled the size of the Bull Mountains mine near Roundup, making it the largest underground coal mine in the nation. Representing the Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club, the Western Environmental Law Center argued successfully that DEQ's hydrology analysis for the permit was flawed.

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