Biden admin calls on Supreme Court to reject NEPA oil case

By Niina H. Farah | 05/22/2024 06:52 AM EDT

Utah officials have argued against additional review of a rail project designed to transport crude to the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen.

The Supreme Court. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Biden administration is urging the Supreme Court to ignore a plea to curtail the scope of an environmental review for a planned Utah oil railway.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar’s brief to the high court Monday follows a request from the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition, an independent arm of the Utah state government, for the justices to decide whether a National Environmental Policy Act review can include possible effects of a project that an agency does not have direct authority to regulate.

A lower bench “identified several other flaws in the agency’s NEPA analysis that will require a revised environmental impact statement regardless of the outcome of this case,” Prelogar wrote.


The solicitor general’s view of a case can play an important role in determining whether the justices agree to take up a petition. The court only grants approximately 1 percent of petitions it receives.