Agency Overreach Out: A Knockout Blow

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Blow for Biden as Supreme Court Overturns Chevron Deference
Rigzone, July 1, 2024

The US Supreme Court’s sweeping decision slashing the power of the executive branch, coming hours after President Joe Biden‘s poor debate performance, makes it harder for his administration to accomplish his biggest policy ambitions ahead of November’s election.

By saying that regulatory agencies don’t have leeway to interpret the meaning of ambiguous laws, the court made it tougher for the administration to defend regulations it issued in recent months to tackle climate change, forgive student debt, and crack down on so-called “junk fees.” All are among Biden’s key pitches to voters in his re-election campaign.

The decision eliminated a 40-year-old court precedent known as Chevron deference, building on a series of earlier opinions limiting agencies’ policymaking power. Many of Biden’s policy aims depend on interpretations of executive power under older laws, or writing rules where Congress called for standards but left it up to agencies to create them.



Alaska Oil, Gas Rule Draws Lawsuit Alleging Agency Overreach
Nicholas Datlowe, Bloomberg Law, June 28, 2024

An organization of communities in Alaska’s far north sued the Bureau of Land Management Friday over a rule they said “turns a petroleum reserve into millions of acres of de facto wilderness.”

The lawsuit appears to be one of the first to be filed under the Administrative Procedure Act in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s Loper Bright decision dismantling the Chevron doctrine.

Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat alleges that BLM’s “NPR-A Rule” forbids oil and gas development in 10.6 million acres of Alaska, and effectively ends any further leasing and development in an additional 13.1 million acres.

The rule is “directly contrary” to Congress’s purpose in creating the Natural Petroleum Reserve in Alaska—to further oil and gas exploration and development, Voice said in its complaint filed in the US District Court for the District of Alaska. BLM “disingenuously” claims that the rule “speaks for Alaska Natives,” the group said.

The rule violates several federal laws, including the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. It is therefore arbitrary and capricious under the APA, the complaint says.

Voice is represented by Ashburn & Mason P.C.

The case is Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., D. Alaska, No. 24-136, complaint filed 6/28/24.


Alaska Delegation Fumes as Interior Rejects Mining Road
Hannah Northey, E & E News, June 28, 2024 (subscription required)

The Biden administration’s rejection Friday of the proposed Ambler mining road in northwest Alaska is supercharging legal threats and political outrage from the project’s supporters on Capitol Hill.

The Interior Department’s record of decision officially blocks proponents of the 211-mile industrial road that would have cut through the Brooks Range of Alaska and the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve to reach copper, zinc and other mineral deposits. The gravel road would have traversed federally managed land and needed government sign-off.

The decision marks a victory for tribes and environmental groups that have said a federal decision in their favor would solidify their position as they gird for regulatory, legislative and legal fights.Alaska delegation fumes a


Behind the Curtain:  Biden’s salvation plan
Mike Allen, Axios, July 1, 2024
A massive political, PR and personal campaign is underway to reject calls for President Biden to drop his re-election race – and rally Democrats to move on from public debate about age and his future, top official tell us. 

Why it matters:  Biden has zero interest in stepping aside – and First Lady Jill Biden and key family members and friends agree, according to people who talk regularly with them. 

The intrigue:  Biden, who has ducked tough interviews and avoided no-holds-barred press conferences, is now considering both.  Look for a town hall or big one-on-one interview this month. 

The intrigue: Biden, who has ducked tough interviews and avoided no-holds-barred press conferences, is now considering both. Look for a town hall or big one-on-one interview this month.

The latest:  During a family gathering at Camp David on Sunday, Biden family members, including Hunter, went through with a long-scheduled session with celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz   The Biden insisted the president stay in the race, we’re told by people close to them. 


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