Standing in challenge to Gulf oil drilling plans

Environmental groups challenged several plans approved by the Department of the Interior for oil exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon accident.  In a group of consolidated cases, the Fifth Circuit dismissed the challenges on procedural grounds.  See, e.g., Gulf Restoration Network v. Salazar, No. 10-60411 (May 30, 2012).   Among other holdings, the Court found that the groups had standing as organizations to sue, op. at 8-10, and that case law about the effect of an agency’s allegedly “illegal [and] clandestine” internal policies did not excuse the groups’ failure to exhaust administrative remedies here.  Op. at 29.

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