Appellants, the United States and several non-governmental organisations recently filed opening briefs in their interlocutory appeal to the 10th Circuit of a September 2015 preliminary injunction blocking the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule governing hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands. Appellants argued that the lower court based the injunction on an incorrect reading of federal law, asserting that the Mineral Leasing Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act and other public lands statutes broadly authorise the BLM to regulate the development of publicly held resources using hydraulic fracturing. They also disputed the ruling that the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempts hydraulic fracturing from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, precludes regulation by the BLM on public land. The briefs of four states and the Ute Indian tribe in support of the preliminary injunction are due in late April.

For further information on this topic please contact Roger Martella, Samuel Boxerman, Jim Wedeking or Joel Visser at Sidley Austin LLP by telephone (+1 202 736 8000) or email (rmartella@sidley.com, sboxerman@sidley.com, jwedeking@sidley.com or jvisser@sidley.com). The Sidley Austin LLP website can be accessed at www.sidley.com.

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