Judge Voids 1 Million Acres Of Oil And Gas Leases Over Public Input

“A federal judge in Idaho ruled Thursday that a Trump administration policy limiting public input on oil and gas leasing decisions was “arbitrary and capricious,” overturning the 2018 directive and voiding nearly 1 million acres of leases out West as a result.

The ruling by U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush represented a win for environmentalists, who challenged the leasing policy as part of a broader effort to block drilling in habitat for the imperiled greater sage-grouse. The contested area spans 67 million acres across 11 Western states.

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management issued an instruction memorandum in January 2018 aimed at accelerating energy leasing by streamlining environmental reviews and reducing the amount of time the public could comment on, and later protest, any leases.”

Juliet Eilperin reports for the Washington Post February 28, 2020.