In a surprising move for a party that is struggling to restore its appeal to moderate voters, the RNC endorsed a fringe, right-wing campaign by some local officials to seize federal lands, turn them over to Western states, and further expand mining and drilling.
Shell's ambitions to drill for oil off the coast of Alaska received another blow Wednesday, when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Interior Department had failed to adequately assess the scale of oil production that could result from the 2008 sale of leases in the Chukchi Sea.
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A report released Tuesday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Department of the Interior has "discontinued" an effort to increase the royalty rate that companies must pay to the government for extracting oil and gas from onshore public lands.
The Bureau of Land Management’s Utah state office on Friday decided to defer 99,960 acres of proposed oil and gas leases in and around the San Rafael Swell, which has been considered for everything from National Monument to National Park status.