"After a long legal battle and a surprising loss in a lower court last year, green groups are celebrating their successful appeal of oil and gas drilling near New Mexico's sensitive Chaco Canyon area.
The Bureau of Land Management improperly relied on an outdated environmental review to support development of thousands of northeastern New Mexico wells projected in a 2014 'reasonably foreseeable development scenario,' a trio of judges for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found yesterday.
BLM's 2003 review predated the widespread use of horizontal drilling in the region, the court found.
'We conclude that the 3,960 horizontal Mancos Shale wells predicted in the 2014 RFDS were reasonably foreseeable after the 2014 RFDS issued,' said Judge Mary Beck Briscoe, a Clinton appointee, who authored the decision."