DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke Under Scrutiny

Ryan Zinke, secretary of the Interior Department, has been a key figure in the Trump administration’s push to roll back burdensome environmental regulations and ramp up domestic energy production. Mr. Zinke is facing increased scrutiny based on allegations that he abused travel spending by paying for his wife to travel with him, and maintained close […]

BLM Revises Oil and Gas Policy Regarding Key Sage Grouse Habitat

Last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued an instruction memorandum (IM) revising an Obama-era policy that directed agency field offices to prioritize oil and natural gas leasing and drilling projects outside of the most sensitive greater sage grouse habitat. The IM now says that the BLM does not need to lease and develop […]

California Congressman: Slow Down Permits! Introduces Bill Targeting Approved But Unimplemented Permits to Drill

Last week, California Representative Alan Lowenthal (D) introduced HR 4103 (2017), also known as the “Having Open Access to Relevant Data Act” or the “HOARD Act.” The legislation specifically targets applicants who have obtained Permits to Drill on federal lands, but had not begun timely drilling. The HOARD Act is in response to the Bureau […]

BLM to Hold Public Hearings on Sage Grouse While Watchdog Group Sues for Public Records

This week the BLM announced its plans to hold public hearings in November to allow for public comment regarding the agency’s decision to reopen 98 federal land use plans that were put in place to protect the greater sage grouse. Meanwhile, a watchdog group filed a federal lawsuit against the Interior Department, claiming the agency […]

EPA Chief Kills “Sue and Settle” Tactic Used By Environmental Groups

On October 16, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued an administrative order with the goal of ensuring that the Environmental Protection Agency is transparent when settling lawsuits – particularly those filed by environmental groups seeking to regulate through litigation. A press release accompanying the administrative order explains that the EPA has long been sued by […]

Trump Administration Schedules Meetings with Industry Groups as Part of Regulation Reform Efforts

  Later this week, U.S. EPA Chief Scott Pruitt is scheduled to meet with representatives from a wide range of industries in an effort to identify areas where regulations may be scaled back, consistent with President Trump’s objectives. As part of the “Smart Sectors Program” announced in mid-September, the EPA will meet with representatives from […]

President Trump’s Nominees for Interior and Energy Easily Approved By Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Secretary of the Interior nominee Ryan Zinke and Secretary of Energy nominee Rick Perry were approved by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, paving the way for their confirmation by the full Senate. The committee approved Zinke by a 16-6 vote, and Perry by a 16-7 vote. Angering the Democrats on the Committee, […]

BLM Reaches Settlement Agreement in Longstanding Utah Land Use Litigation

On January 13, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) filed a settlement agreement in U.S. District Court along with off-highway vehicle advocates and various conservation groups. If approved by the court, the agreement would end more than 8 years of litigation over land use and travel management plans on approximately 10 million BLM-administered acres in […]

Controversial: Obama creates 3 new national monuments, expands 2 others

Obama creates 3 new national monuments, expands 2 others In his last week, President Obama controversially announced the creation of three new national monuments and the expansion of two existing national monuments using the Antiquities Act of 1906. The Antiquities Act was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt […]

Challengers battle Obama over BLM Oil and Gas Methane Rule

Challengers battle Obama over BLM Oil and Gas Methane Rule The Obama administration will square off against industry and several states this month over the Bureau of Land Management’s new methane rule regulating emissions from the oil and gas operations. The U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming will hear both state and industry […]

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