The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has identified the three judges who will consider the legal challenges to the Obama administration’s controversial hydraulic fracturing rules for public and tribal lands.
Judges Jerome Holmes, Harris Hartz and Mary Beck Briscoe will preside over the hearings and the challenge of the oil and gas groups and others who contend the Bureau of Land Management overstepped its authority.
Judges Holmes and Hartz are appointees by President George W. Bush while Judge Briscoe was named to the bench by President Clinton. As of this week, the schedule calls for the judges to hear oral arguments March 22 on the government’s appeal of a federal judge in Wyoming who struck down the rules for well construction, wastewater management and chemical disclosure for fracking. However, there remains the possibility the Trump administration could drop the appeal.
As some have noted, the judges are considered to be conservative in their rulings.
But they’ve also made rulings siding with the government in some environmental cases.
Briscoe denied a request in 2008 from environmentalist who tried to stop construction of a natural gas pipeline through national forests in Colorado.
Holmes ruled in support of the Interior department in some cases of public land development opposes by environmental groups.