Western Energy Alliance v. Salazar, No. 11-8071 (10th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The issue before the Tenth Circuit in this case centered on whether the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA), as amended by the Reform Act of 1987, required the Secretary of the Interior to issue leases for parcels of land to the highest bidding energy company within sixty days of payment to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Appellants (collectively, "Energy Companies") sued to compel the Secretary to issue pending leases on which they were the high bidders and more than sixty days had passed since they had paid the BLM in full. The district court construed the MLA to impose a mandate on the Secretary to decide whether to issue the leases, and ordered BLM to make such decisions regarding the still pending leases of Energy Companies within thirty days. Energy Companies appealed the district court's order and asserted that the MLA required the Secretary to issue the pending leases within sixty days rather than merely make a decision on whether the leases will be issued. Upon review of the matter, the Tenth Circuit held that the district court’s order was not a "final decision," and as such, the Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the Energy Companies' appeal.