Ash Creek Mining Co. v. Lujan

In Ash Creek Mining Co. v. Lujan, 969 F.2d 868 (10th Cir.1992) the plaintiff was a coal mining company which desired to bid for leases in an area under federal control. The Secretary of the Interior had decided to remove the tract from competitive coal leasing so that the tract could be used in a property exchange. The plaintiff's attempt to prevent the exchange had previously been rejected on the basis that there was no final agency action. The exchange was effected and the plaintiff again brought a legal challenge. The Court held that the loss of the possibility of obtaining a federal lease for coal mining was an "injury not redressable by a favorable decision" and so did not give the plaintiff standing to object to the exchange of lands. 969 F.2d at 874. Indeed, the Court considered the issue so clear cut that we noted "detailed discussion" was not necessary. Id. In Ash Creek Mining Co. v. Lujan, 969 F.2d 868, 875 (10th Cir.1992), a mining company brought suit to set aside an exchange of government coal rights for a conservation easement between the Department of Interior and a private organization. Ash Creek, 969 F.2d at 870-71. The company claimed injuries in part due to its lost opportunities to participate in competitive leasing of the federal coal. Id. at 873-74. The Court agreed with the district court's conclusion that the mining company lacked standing because the court was simply not empowered to fashion the ultimate relief the plaintiff sought--an order that the government offer the coal for competitive leasing in the first place. Id. at 874-75.