Top Bureau of Land Management Official Removed, Big Implications for Other Appointments

Top Bureau of Land Management Official Removed, Big Implications for Other Appointments

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer    On Friday, an order from the chief judge of the Montana federal court removed acting Bureau of Land Management director William Perry Pendley. Despite never being confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Pendley served as acting director for 424 days, a full 214 days past the original deadline to […]

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Trump Administration Will Open Millions More Acres of Public Lands to Oil and Gas Drilling

Trump Administration Will Open Millions More Acres of Public Lands to Oil and Gas Drilling

The Trump Administration announced that it intends to open millions of acres of national forest land for oil and gas drilling, and they will not evaluate whether the areas being opened will cause any environmental impacts, nor will they give the public advance notice, The Hill reports.

Why This Matters:  The Trump team seems to be speeding up their desperate efforts to help fossil fuels as the first (and hopefully only) term nears an end.  There is no economic or national security rationale for this.  

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Trump Administration To Allow Oil and Gas Drilling in CA Land Monument

Trump Administration To Allow Oil and Gas Drilling in CA Land Monument

In a quiet decision in late May, the Trump Administration said it will open up California’s Carrizo Plain National Monument, which is known for its stunning wildflowers, to oil and gas drilling and a pipeline, the LA Times reported last week. 

Why This Matters:  This project is inconsistent with the purposes of the monument and will surely cause environmental harm.

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Interior Department Approves Largest Solar Project in the U.S.

Interior Department Approves Largest Solar Project in the U.S.

Earlier this week the Trump Administration took a break from its boosting oil and gas (they announced yesterday they are going to buy 1 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a “test”) to give final approval to the Gemini Solar Project – a massive $1B solar array and battery storage project situated on federal land near Las Vegas.

Why This Matters:  The project went through a streamlined environmental review process, but the final development and operations plan will minimize and mitigate impacts on visual resources, cultural and tribal resources, recreation access, air quality, native vegetation and wildlife such as the desert tortoise, a “threatened” species.

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Court Voids 287 Oil and Gas Leases  in Montana

Court Voids 287 Oil and Gas Leases in Montana

Cutting corners is the Trump Administration’s calling card — and oops, they did it again — and as a result, a federal judge late last week threw out hundreds of oil and gas leases covering nearly 150,000 acres of federal land in Montana.

Why This Matters:  What can we say.  It’s good that they are so bad at being awful.

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Federal Judge Cancels $125m In Oil and Gas Leases on Sage Grouse Habitat

Federal Judge Cancels $125m In Oil and Gas Leases on Sage Grouse Habitat

A federal judge in Idaho last Thursday invalidated $125 million in oil and gas leases on public lands in Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah because the Trump administration failed to give the public adequate time for comments on them.

Why This Matters:  Score one for the sage grouse!  Under the ruling,  nearly 1 million acres’ worth of fast-tracked public lands leases have been canceled.

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