The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in North Slope Borough v. Minerals Management Service et al., Case No. 08-35180, recently upheld MMS's actions regarding the proposed sale of certain oil and gas leases in the Beaufort Sea. North Slope Borough and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission had challenged the MMS's decision not to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement for a proposed oil and gas lease sale on a tract of the OCS on the Beaufort Sea. The three-judge appellate panel found that MMS's determination that new environmental assessments were unnecessary was not arbitrary and capricious, that the agency satisfied its duties under the National Environmental Protection Act, and that MMS took the required "hard look" at new information related to the impact of rising oil prices. In addition, the court tip-toed around the climate change issues in the case and found that MMS did not act improperly in determining that the cumulative effects of global warming on polar bears could be mitigated. In effect, this decision supports the lower court's finding that "the public interest in energy development favors proceeding with the scheduled sales" of the leases.