IN case you missed it...

Date01 April 2022
In the Courts
"In the Courts" contains full summaries of court cases reported in ELR Update during the month of Februar y 2022. They
are listed under the following categories: Climate Change, Governance, Natural Resources, and Wildlife. The summaries
are then arranged alphabetically by case name wit hin each category. To access ELR's entire collection of court cases and
summaries, visit
Board of County Commissioners of Boulder County v. Suncor
Energy (U.S.A.) Inc., No. 19-1330, 52 ELR 20020 (10th Cir.
Feb. 8, 2022). e Tenth Circ uit armed a district court’s or-
der remanding to state cour t a climate liability lawsuit agai nst
fossil fuel companies. Mun icipalities in Colorado argued i n
state court that they faced substantia l and rising costs from
the threat of climate cha nge, to which the companies had
substantially contributed, and sought compensation to cover
such costs. e companies removed the case to federal court
on “federal ocer” grounds, a mong others, and the munici-
palities subsequently moved to remand for lack of federa l sub-
ject matter jurisdiction. e district court granted the mo-
tion, rejecting all seven of the compa nies’ grounds for remov-
al and remanding to st ate court. e appellate court limited
its review to the federal ocer remova l claim and concluded
the companies failed to e stablish grounds for removal. e
U.S. Supreme Court subsequently claried that jurisdiction
extended to all grounds adva nced for federal jurisdiction in
this insta nce, and vacated and remanded the appellate court’s
decision. On remand, the appellate court c oncluded that
none of the grounds the companies asser ted for removal were
sucient to establish federal jur isdiction over the municipali-
ties’ state-law claims. It a rmed the district court’s order re-
manding the suit to state cour t.
Louisiana v. Biden, No. 2:21- CV-01074, 52 ELR 20 022
(W.D. La. Feb. 11, 2022). A district court granted states’
motion to preliminarily enjoin federal agencies from imple-
menting the Biden Administration’s interim estimates on the
social costs of greenhouse gas emissions. e states a rgued
the president lacked authority to promulgate and enforce the
estimates or to consider global e ects in domestic policymak-
ing; that the est imates were based on a fundamentally awed
methodology that did not tak e into account statutory consid-
erations and ignored best regulatory practices; and that the
estimates violated the Energ y Policy and Conservation Act,
the CAA, NEPA, the Mineral Leasing Act, and the Outer
Continental Shelf Lands Ac t. e court found that the states
had demonstrated multiple, independently sucient grounds
to vacate the estimate a nd thus had shown a strong likelihood
of success on the merits. It granted the motion for prelimi-
nar y injunc tion.
Sagoonick v. Alaska, No. S-17297, 52 ELR 20 018 (Alaska Jan.
28, 2022). e Alaska Supreme Court armed, 3-2, a lower
court’s dismissal of a climate liability lawsuit brought aga inst
the state of Alask a. Alask ans argued the state’s natural re-
source development was contributing to climate change and
adversely aecting t heir lives. e lower court dismis sed the
suit, concluding plaintis r aised nonjusticiable political ques-
tions better left to the other branches of government. e
high court found th at it was impossible to grant the requested
injunctive relief—mandating t hat the state develop a climate
recovery plan to stabilize the climate—w ithout infringing
on an area constitutional ly committed to the legislature and
supplanting other branches’ judgments ab out the balance of
development, management, conservation, and environmenta l
protection. It armed dismissa l of the suit.
Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. International Develop-
ment Finance Corp., No. 21-cv-1491 (CRC), 52 ELR 20023
(D.D.C. Feb. 11, 2022). A district court d ismissed environ-
mental groups’ challenge to the Internationa l Development
Finance Corp’s (DFC’s) 2020 rule exempting itself from the
Sunshine Act. e groups cha llenged the rule under the APA
and the Sunshine Act itsel f, and sought an order declaring the
DFC subject to the Sunshine Act and enjoining the agency
from conducting meetings out of the public eye. e DFC
moved to dismiss for lack of standing and failure to state a
claim. e court found t he groups had established informa-
tional standing but that the DFC did not meet the Sunshine
Act’s denition of an “agency,” and dismissed the suit.
Young v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No.
21-2623 (TJK), 52 ELR 20024 (D.D.C. Feb. 16, 2022). A
district court denied two former EPA science advisors’ mo-
tion to preliminarily ha lt the activities of the Agenc y’s Clean
Air Scientic Advisor y Committee. e advisors argued the
committee violated the Federa l Advisory Committee Act’s
requirement that memberships be “fai rly balanced” because
there was no “industr y representative” on the committee,
and that one of them would suer irreparable harm—the in-
Copyright © 2022 Environmental Law Institute®, Washington, DC. Reprinted with permission from ELR®,, 1-800-433-5120.

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