Appeals Court Backs 2007 MMS Lease Sale in Beaufort

A federal appeals court says a 2007 Beaufort Sea lease sale by the Minerals Management Service was conducted properly. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed a lower court decision that said the agency did not violate federal environmental laws. The North Slope Borough and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission sued the federal agency seeking to rescind the sale, claiming an environmental review done for a 2003 sale was inadequate for the 2007 sale. The borough and the commission claimed increased industry activities should have been taken into account. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) called the decision good news for the state and said Outer Continental Shelf development was critical to Alaska’s long-term economic future.

The Associated Press

Download Audio (MP3)