Federal bureaucrats, including the Secretary of the Interior, have no authority to cancel a lawfully issued oil and gas lease unless Congress has provided them that authority. Our client, Sidney Longwell, first purchased a federal oil and gas lease in Montana’s Lewis and Clark National Forest in 1982. Despite passing decade-long environmental and archeological reviews, the Clinton administration suspended his lease in 1993, and continued to suspend the lease ultimately for over two decades.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, without obtaining a permit, and over the objections of a hydrological expert, diverted a stream that flowed through the land owned by a small church, headed by Pastor Victor Fuentes. The resulting flooding destroyed the property, and the bureaucrats who did this think no one will hold them accountable.
Although the federal government declined—because of the success of state conservation programs—to list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act, it illegally imposed Draconian rules that place vast acres of federal lands off limits to lawful grazing and oil and gas activity, which provide jobs and are vital to local communities.
In response to demands by extremist environmental groups, the federal government adopted land management plans that threaten historic and important economic activities to protect a bird that is neither threatened nor endangered. Environmental groups may not abuse the Endangered Species Act to close federal land in the West to lawful uses that are vital to local economies.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees vast areas of recreational lands that are open to the public, bars visitors outright from exercising their 2nd Amendment right to carry a handgun for self-defense. The Second Amendment right to provide for one’s self-defense while hiking on wide-open federal recreational lands may not be denied outright.
Colorado’s Constitution includes the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, which requires voter approval for all new taxes. A group of legislators challenged this constitutional provision, arguing that it infringes on their constitutional right to govern. Elected officials have no constitutional right to increase taxes without voter approval, much less standing to challenge a constitutional provision that protects taxpayers.
California regulations allow union organizers to enter private property and solicit the support of workers without compensating the property owner for the use of his property. No business owner should be forced to allow outside union organizers onto his property during business hours.
Case Summary In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency released 3 million gallons of mineralized water at the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado. To minimize its responsibility for the spill, the EPA hastily designated a vast area surrounding the mine as a Superfund site and thereby subjected its neighbors to financial liability for its actions.…