Thursday, July 2, 2009

Alaska Wilderness v. Kempthorne, Et. Al.

Jun 30: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case Nos. 07-71989 and 07-72183. Petitioners in this case challenge the Minerals Management Service’s (MMS) approval of Respondent-Intervenor Shell Offshore Inc.’s (Shell) 2007-2009 Beaufort Sea Plan of Exploration (EP). On May 5, 2009, however, Shell withdrew its EP, and the MMS subsequently rescinded its prior approval of that EP. The MMS characterized the EP as “null and void” and declared that it “will not consider nor approve any exploratory drilling activity under this EP.”

The Appeals Court said, "The MMS’s rescission of its approval of the EP, which was the agency action at issue in this appeal, renders Petitioners’ challenge moot. Accordingly, Shell’s unopposed 'Motion to Dismiss Appeal as Moot' is granted. This appeal is dismissed as moot. The parties shall bear their own costs on appeal. A certified copy of this order shall serve as the mandate of this court."

Access the court order (click here).

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