Judge vacates directive over energy lease public comments

Posted at 2:03 AM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 04:03:58-05

BOISE, Idaho — A judge in Idaho has overturned a federal directive to curtail environmental review and eliminate mandatory public comment periods concerning oil and gas leasing on some public lands.

The Center for Biological Diversity says in a statement that the U.S. magistrate judge vacated five oil and gas leases in Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, ruling the federal Bureau of Land Management failed to allow the public participation required by law.

The ruling Thursday was connected to a broader lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s federal oil and gas leasing practices across 3,125 square miles of greater sage-grouse habitat.