Friday, May 13, 2016

Western energy producers sue over sage grouse plans

Independent Western oil and gas producers, joined by the North Dakota Petroleum Council, are suing the federal government over sage grouse management plans they say do an end run around the public process and aren't based on good science. The lawsuit filed Thursday by the Western Energy Alliance, which includes producers in Utah, adds another layer of litigation to the hotly contested land-use management plans covering 165 million acres across the West. Utah, Idaho and several groups are already suing the government over the revisions to 98 land-use management plans carried out by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Kathleen Sgamma, the alliance's vice president of governmental affairs, said the plans ignore protections incorporated into individual state plans that were crafted after years of work, collaboration and research, and instead institute arbitrary restrictions...more

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