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Interior Delay of Oil and Gas Royalty Rule Rebuked by Court

Aug. 30, 2017, 11:02 PM

The Trump administration failed to abide by administrative procedures when it delayed an Obama-era regulation for calculating royalties on energy resources extracted from federal lands, a federal judge ruled Aug. 30 (Becerra v. Interior, N.D. Cal., No. 3:17-cv-2376, 8/30/17).

The targeted regulation, which took effect Jan. 1, was estimated to increase royalty collections by at least $78 million. However, the Interior Department put the rule on hold the day before the first payments were due on Feb. 28.

While the court declared that move to be contrary to the law, the ruling won’t affect the Interior Department’s formal ...