Dec 2, 2015

George Bank area oil drilling - a look back at how CLF fought them in the 1970s & 1980s

While the proposed oil drilling may be off Canada, It is helpful to helpful to look at  three of Conservation Law Foundation's court battles with the feds  & oil industry over Georges Bank  from the 1970s and 1980s when the US was trying to drill on Georges.  Yes they were American companies but Canada got involved back then because spills from these could harm the sealife  of their waters and shores too.

Com. of Mass & CLF . v. Andrus481 F.Supp. 685 (D. Mass., 1979), a notice of sale was issued by the Secretary of Interior on October 5, 1979 scheduling the opening of bids for Tuesday, November 6, 1979 in the State of Rhode Island.  The State of Massachusetts and the Conservation Law Foundation brought suit to stop the sale and the matter came on for hearing before the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts on a motion for preliminary injunction and cross-motions for summary judgment.   Andrus won

March 28, 1983 Federal District Judge David A. Mazzone issued a temporary restraining order  stopping the sale of oil drilling lease rights on 2.8 million acres of the Georges Bank The offering, the largest of its kind ever proposed by the Federal Government, was to go up for bids in New York City  on the 29th. The ruling was the latest development in a five-year effort by the New England states and various environmental groups to restrict the Government's plan to lease almost all of the continental shelf for oil and gas exploration by 1987.

End of Judge's decision: On November 21, 1984, the Secretary filed a notice of appeal. On December 21, over two months after a decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) determined that the tracts in question belonged to Canada, he cancelled Lease Sale 82, Part II. On March 5, 1985, after the Secretary represented by affidavit that no new sales would take place until February 1987 at the earliest and that the administrative record for Lease Sale 82 would be abandoned, the court dismissed the case. 

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