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Lawsuit: Climate change impacts ignored in gas leases

Photo credit: Oliclimb, Shutterstock

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A coalition of environmental organizations have filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. government failed to adequately analyze the impact of climate change while approving 130 oil and gas leases in Utah.

The lawsuit filed Thursday accuses Bureau of Land Management officials of violating the National Environmental Policy Act. The group says the violation happened when the BLM approved leases on about 274 square miles (710 square kilometers) of land in rural Utah from 2014 to 2018.

Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Kimberly Finch declined to comment since it’s a pending lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses the agency of “dutifully” implementing President Donald Trump’s push to ramp up oil and gas drilling on public lands.

The lawsuit that was filed jointly by the Center for Biological Diversity, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Living Rivers asks for the sales to be invalidated.