#Department of Interior
Offshore Drilling Plan On Hold Indefinitely

Offshore Drilling Plan On Hold Indefinitely

In his first interview since being confirmed as Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that the Administration’s ocean drilling plans have been delayed for now because it will take a long time to appeal a ruling by a Judge in Alaska that the Interior Department could not lease offshore areas that President Obama had permanently removed from leasing.  Berhardt, according to The Journal, would not speculate on how long the offshore drilling would be delayed but remarked that the appeals process is “going to take a while” and added that, “I’m not at a point now where it’s an imminent thing.” We reported earlier this month on the Alaska ruling, in which Judge Sharon Gleason, an Obama appointee, held that the law was explicit in giving the President authority to “withdraw” lands but silent about “revocation” of a withdrawal, and thus the President Trump’s action was illegal.  

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A Pair of Capitol Hill Hearings Making News

A Pair of Capitol Hill Hearings Making News

Yesterday President Trump’s nominee to run the Interior Department, David Bernhardt, had his confirmation hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and he was questioned hard by the Democrats about his alleged conflicts of interest and how his close ties to the oil and gas industry might color his views as Secretary. 

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Sage Grouse Habitat To Be Opened For Drilling

Sage Grouse Habitat To Be Opened For Drilling

Late last week, the Trump Administration announced its decision to open up for oil and gas drilling nine millions of acres of critical habitat for the Sage Grouse, a bird whose endangered status hinged on whether the habitat would be saved. 

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Former Oil Industry Lobbyist Nominated To Lead Interior

Former Oil Industry Lobbyist Nominated To Lead Interior

The Trump Administration did the expected and yesterday nominated Acting Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt, a former oil industry lobbyist and the top lawyer at Interior under Bush ’43 to take the top slot and officially replace Ryan Zinke.  Most industry experts expect that he will continue to push for expanding oil and gas drilling, […]

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Six States Back Colorado River Water Sharing Plan, Arizona on the Fence

Six States Back Colorado River Water Sharing Plan, Arizona on the Fence

Tomorrow is the deadline for a deal among the seven states that share water from the Colorado River, and one state, Arizona, is holding out.  The water plan agreed to by the other states back in December, confronts the long-running drought in the region, the resulting dwindling supply of water from the River, and how the states can ensure river water does not get overused.  Arizona was the only state that required the plan be approved by its Legislature, which according to the Associated Press, has made the negotiations on the drought contingency plan more complex. What if Arizona does not meet the deadline?  Then the Department of Interior will allegedly ask the other states for their views on how to divide the limited pool of water, and then the federal government will rule unilaterally.  

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Shutdown Not Slowing Down Trump Administration Energy Priorities

Shutdown Not Slowing Down Trump Administration Energy Priorities

While most of the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency are in a seemingly endless shutdown limbo, the priorities of the Trump Administration go on without a hitch.  Two high profile examples came to light over the weekend — the preparation for newly nominated Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation hearing and the busiest […]

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