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Soundings Archive

MMS Unveils New 5-Year OCS Plan
The U.S. Minerals Management Service publishes 5-Year Plans governing MMS' oil and gas leases on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. In the case Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held there were some defects in the environmental effects analysis contained in MMS' 2007-2012 Plan. The Court sent the Plan back to MMS for further analysis and review in accordance with the Court's opinion.

There was some uncertainty whether the Court's decision and mandate invalidated leases issued under the Plan. In July 2009, the Court stayed its mandate pending the completion of MMS' analysis and review. The court Ordered MMS to file status reports with the court at 60-day intervals.

In its March 29, 2010 status report, MMS stated, "Interior [MMS] is ready to announce the results of its analysis and review, and will communicate those results of the court on the date of the announcement, expected very soon." MMS, March 29, 2010 court filing is available here.

True to its word, MMS on March 31, 2010, published its "Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Strategy."

MMS' "Preliminary Revised Program Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2007-2012" can be accessed at http://thecre.com/pdf/PRP2007-2012.pdf.

Other relevant documents are available at http://www.doi.gov/whatwedo/energy/ocs/index.cfm.

 
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