Case Summary Citation
Solenex, LLC v. Haaland, No. 13-993, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163518 (D.D.C. Sept. 9, 2022)
In 1982, BLM issued an oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine to Solenex’s predecessor. The Badger-Two Medicine, located in the Lewis and Clark National Forest, is an area of cultural and spiritual importance to the Blackfeet Tribe. After four decades of disagreement as to whether the lease was validly issued, the Secretary of the Interior found that the lease violated the National Historic Preservation Act. Accordingly, she canceled Solenex’s lease and revoked Solenex’s Application for Permit to Drill. The District Court for the District of Columbia held the Secretary did not possess the authority to cancel Solenex’s lease. The court also held that the Secretary’s revocation of Solenex’s Application for Permit to Drill was arbitrary and capricious. This case note will discuss why the court’s holdings are most likely flawed, as well as discuss ways in which the NHPA’s ability to protect culturally significant tribal land might be improved.
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