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6:52 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Environmental groups praise last week's ruling on BLM leases

A Federal appeals court recently ruled that the Bureau of Land management did not do a thorough job in determining the effects of some oil and gas leases sold between 2005 and 2010 in Wyoming and Utah. 

The ruling backed up an Interior Department decision that was objected to by industry groups who argued that leases are supposed to be issued promptly after an auction.  Environmental groups joined the lawsuit.  Earthjustice Attorney Melanie Kay says the ruling was common sense.                       

"The sort of status quo shouldn’t be ‘lease before you think,’ it should be, ‘think before you lease.’ And you know, as we’ve stressed all along in the

litigation, these are everyone’s public lands – it’s not the energy companies’ public lands."

Nada Culver with the Wilderness Society says wilderness quality and sage grouse habitat should have been considered, along with any protests.

The ruling impacted 150 thousand acres of leases in Wyoming and Utah.

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