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Oil and Gas Rulemaking to Delete Environmental Law References (2)

Aug. 31, 2020, 4:42 PMUpdated: Aug. 31, 2020, 5:24 PM

The U.S. Forest Service proposed new oil and gas development regulations on Monday that eliminate references to environmental laws and defer final oil leasing decisions to the Interior Department.

The proposed rules, which would apply to a land area the size of California and Montana combined, would delete references to complying with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act “in favor of letting those laws and regulations speak for themselves,” according to a pre-publication notice appearing in the Federal Register on Monday.

Environmental advocates worry the proposal will suggest to forest managers and oil and gas operators ...