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ACTION TIMELINE

February 12, 2004 – The Center filed an appeal to block the planned sale of 120,00 acres of publicly owned oil and gas leases in two New Mexico counties.
 
September 15, 2005 – As part of a coalition of conservation groups, the Center filed an administrative appeal challenging a decision by the  U.S. Forest Service to expand oil drilling in California’s Los Padres National Forest and thereby destroy pristine forest, including habitat for several endangered species.
     
June 13, 2006 – The Center and allies filed a notice of intent to sue the Forest Service over plans to expand oil and gas drilling inside Los Padres National Forest.
 
September 7, 2006 – In response to public outcry and a formal challenge from the Center, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reversed a June 2005 sale that would expand oil leasing on 10,088 acres of the Los Padres National Forest.

January 25, 2007 – In response to a Center complaint, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation recommended an investigation into whether Mexico had violated its own environmental laws when it authorized Chevron’s proposed liquid natural gas facility off the coast of Baja. Soon thereafter, the corporation abandoned its plans to construct the energy terminal.
 
February 13, 2007 – A Center-sponsored suit challenged U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations that allowed oil and gas exploration in the Beaufort Sea to harm several imperiled species, including the polar bear and walrus.

April 23, 2007 – In the aftermath of a major oil spill in the Los Padres National Forest, the Center and two other conversation groups sued federal authorities over plans to further expand oil and gas drilling on 52,075 acres of the forest.
 
July 2, 2007 – The Center challenged a federal plan to expand offshore oil and gas leases in federal waters — a nationwide program that would schedule 21 lease sales, including in ecologically vulnerable areas like the Gulf of Mexico and the Alaskan coast.
 
July 20, 2007 – A federal court sided with the Center when it temporarily halted Shell Offshore’s plans to drill exploratory oil wells in the middle of the bowhead whale migration corridor in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea.

March 5, 2008 – A coalition of conservation groups filed a lawsuit challenging approval of the Bull Mountain pipeline, a 25-mile natural gas pipeline in Colorado’s Clear Fork Divide requiring the construction of more than eight miles of new roads in protected roadless areas.

June 6, 2008 – In response to our March 2008 suit, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction halting all construction on the Bull Mountain natural gas pipeline.

July 8, 2008 – The Center filed a suit against the Department of the Interior for issuing regulations that would allow for the unlimited harassment of polar bears and Pacific walrus by oil companies operating in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. 
 
February 25, 2009 – The Center, along with Desert Survivors, filed a formal protest with the Bureau of Land Management to stop a March sale of 23 oil and gas leases; we informed the Bureau of our intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act over the leases’ effects on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox.
   
March 13, 2009 – In response to protests from the Center and other conservation groups, the Bureau of Land Management withdrew plans to sell areas of the Monongahela National Forest to oil and gas interests.
  
June 8, 2009 – As part of a coalition of conservation groups, the Center filed a formal protest with the Bureau of Land Management to stop a sale of 21 oil and gas leases in California’s Monterey County. The coalition also delivered a 60-day notice of intent to sue for violations of the Endangered Species Act regarding the leases’ effects on endangered and threatened species in the region.

March 11, 2010 – The Center for Biological Diversity, Pacific Environment and the Turtle Island Restoration Network notified the U.S. Export Import Bank of our intent to sue the federal agency for financing a liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea without analyzing the project’s environmental impacts.

March 18, 2010 – After the Center and allies filed formal comments, the Bureau of Land Management withdrew two parcels of land on the Monongahela National Forest from an oil and gas sale that would have affected 4,400 acres and harmed endangered bats, native fish and clean water.

Spring 2010 – In the wake of the disastrous explosion of BP’s oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, the Center initiated an aggressive campaign to end dangerous offshore oil drilling and hold the federal government accountable for the scandals and mismanagement that helped lead to the Gulf catastrophe. Read about our numerous legal actions, in-depth investigating and extensive public-relations work post-spill.

July 21, 2010 – A federal court ordered all activities under Lease Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea off the north coast of Alaska halted pending further environmental review by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, formerly the Minerals Management Service. 

October 12, 2010 – Instead of issuing a new, more complete environmental review, BOEMRE released a “draft supplemental environmental impact statement” concluding that the environmental-threat information missing in the original environmental impact statement (thrown out in July) wasn’t necessary to move forward with oil and gas leasing in the Chukchi.

November 10, 2010 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency for authorizing an inadequate oil-spill response plan for Alaska, including rubberstamping the use of toxic oil dispersants harmful to wildlife. Our notice demanded that the agencies immediately study the effects of dispersants and other cleanup operations on endangered wildlife and incorporate that information into oil-spill response plans.

February 10, 2011The Center for Biological Diversity, Gulf Restoration Network, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club filed a formal notice of intent to sue Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Wednesday for ignoring marine-mammal protection laws when approving offshore oil and gas activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

December 2011 – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reversed a prior decision and allowed ConocoPhillips to construct a road in the Colville River delta to access drilling sites in the Western Arctic Reserve.

February 21, 2012 – The Center and allies filed a lawsuit in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s air-pollution permit for Shell’s exploratory drilling operations in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

March 28, 2012 – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced approval of Shell Oil’s unproven oil-spill response plan for offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska.

April 13, 2012 – A coalition of groups, including the Center, filed an appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the approval of Lease Sale 193, which opened for oil drilling the remote Chukchi Sea, home to iconic species such as polar bearbowhead whale, and walrus and to a vibrant indigenous subsistence culture.

May 1, 2012 – The Center requested that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigate Royal Dutch Shell for potentially misleading statements about its readiness to drill in the Arctic Ocean for offshore oil. 

July 10, 2012 A coalition of conservation organizations, including the Center, filed a lawsuit in Alaska federal court challenging the federal government’s approval of Shell Oil Company’s oil-spill response plans for its planned drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas that summer. 

Alaska natural gas pipeline photo courtesy Federal State Joint Pipeline Office