[Ed. – Now the 9th Circuit judges are petroleum engineers and geologists too?]
The 9th Circuit ruled that the Interior Department leases in question, opening nearly 30 million acres (12 million hectares) of the sea floor to energy drilling, were based on a flawed estimate of 1 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil for the scope of production.
The appeals court called that estimate “arbitrary and capricious,” before sending it back to U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline for additional review.
The court ruled that under the National Environmental Policy Act, the government must “base its analysis on the full range of likely production if oil production were to occur. It did not do so here.”