Nos. 10-5101, 10-5110.

642 F.3d 212 (2011)

AERA ENERGY LLC, Appellant, v. Kenneth Lee SALAZAR, Secretary, United States Department of the Interior and United States Department of the Interior, Appellees.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

Decided April 29, 2011.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Steven J. Rosenbaum argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs was Joshua D. Greenberg .

Mary Gabrielle Sprague , Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the cause for federal appellees. With her on the brief were William B. Lazarus and David C. Shilton , Attorneys. R. Craig Lawrence , Assistant U.S. Attorney, entered an appearance.

Opinion for the court filed by Circuit Judge TATEL.

TATEL, Circuit Judge:

In 1999, the Pacific Regional Director of the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service caused four oil and gas leases off the California coast, for which appellants had originally paid the United States over $140 million, to expire. The Regional Director later testified that he based his decision solely on political considerations and that absent such considerations he would have instead extended the leases. Reviewing the matter de novo...

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