Oil and gas leasing delayed in sage grouse habitat

The Extinction Chronicles

Federal court rejects Interior’s ‘intentional decision’ to limit public comment.

Throughout his tenure as Interior Department secretary, Ryan Zinke has tried to prime the pump for oil and gas leasing on public lands. Under his leadership, and in pursuit of the Trump administration’s “American Energy Dominance” directive, the Bureau of Land Management has increased the area offered for oil and gas leases and relaxed regulations for natural gas producers on public lands.

But the BLM recently hit a snag in its push to lease more land for oil and gas production. In late September, a federal district court in Idaho issued a preliminary injunction stating that the Interior Department must hold off on energy leasing in sage grouse habitat to allow for more public participation. Because of the decision, oil and gas lease sales totaling more than 1 million acres and spanning…

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