Friday, January 25, 2013

Court refuses to hear challenge to oil and gas leases decision

A legal challenge to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's controversial rescission of 77 oil and gas leases offered for bid in Utah was delivered a setback Thursday with an appellate court refusing to hear the case. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver turned back a request by energy companies and a trio of Utah counties to set a full panel of judges to reconsider a September 2012 ruling. In that decision, the court agreed with U.S. District Judge Dee Benson's earlier ruling that the energy companies and the counties missed their opportunity to protest Salazar's actions because the 90-day window of appeal had closed. Critics of the Bureau of Land Management resource plans that fostered issuing the leases long contended that they were part of a last-minute "giveaway to the oil and gas industry" in the waning days of the Bush administration in 2008...more

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