Interior Deferring to States, Reviewing Fish, Wildlife Protections

In a development sure to impact the oil and gas industry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said state regulatory agencies should have a higher profile in protecting fish and wildlife, and asked his department to identify federal regulations that are more restrictive than those enacted by states.

September 12, 2018

Massive Reorganization of Interior Proposed by Trump Administration

Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke said a massive reorganization is being considered for the agency, which may include managing federal lands by watersheds rather than political borders, and through relocating employees to field offices across the country.

January 11, 2018

Brief — GOM Lease Sale

The Department of Interior, in the Trump administration’s first Gulf of Mexico (GOM) lease sale for 2017-2022, plans to offer 75.9 million acres for auction offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, almost three million more acresand nearly 500 blocks more than originally proposed. Lease Sale 249 on Aug. 16 is scheduled to be livestreamed from New Orleans. The final notice of saleincludes about 14,200 blocks from three to 231 miles offshore in the GOM. For leases awarded in waters less than 200 meters deep, Interior is offering a reduced royalty rate of 12.5%versus the previous standard of 18.75%. Copies of the block maps may be requested from the GOM Region’s Public Information Unit, 1201 Elmwood Park Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70123, or at 800-200-GULF.

July 14, 2017

Order to Streamline Permitting, Fix Drilling Backlog Issued by Interior

Pledging to make the Interior Department “a better neighbor in the new Trump administration,” Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a secretarial order (SO) on Thursday that calls for streamlining the permitting process for drilling on federal lands.

July 7, 2017

Interior Embarks on Regulatory Reform Program

Following through on one of President Trump’s executive orders (EO), the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) has launched a regulatory reform package and is seeking public comments on its potentially sweeping scope.

June 23, 2017

Zinke Defends Trump Budget, Warns of ‘Gap in Trust’ With Oil, Gas Industry

Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke defended the Trump administration’s proposed $11.7 billion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018, and told two Senate panels that the department was “moving prudently” to fill positions in field offices while limiting hires in Washington, DC.

June 21, 2017

Western States, Stakeholders See Positive Approach in Zinke Sage Grouse Review; Enviros Disagree

Reassessing the nation’s greater sage grouse protections is a positive first step that needs further action, according to some western governors and oil and gas stakeholders who reacted Friday to thereview of conservation plans by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

June 12, 2017

Montana Rep. Zinke Now Appears Trump’s Pick to Lead Interior Department

President-elect Donald Trump reportedly plans to nominate Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) as secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI), marking the fourth time a supporter of the oil and gas industry has been selected for a top post by the incoming administration.

December 14, 2016

Devon to be Repaid and Retreat from Badger-Two Medicine Development

The Department of Interior on Wednesday reached a milestone settlement with Devon Energy Corp. to cancel 15 oil and natural gas leases in northwest Montana, an area considered sacred by the Blackfeet Tribe.

November 16, 2016

Law Professors, Former Interior Officials Urge Court to Overturn BLM Ruling

Four former high-ranking officials at the Interior Department and nearly 40 law professors are urging an appellate court to overturn a ruling by a federal judge in Wyoming that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does not have the authority to enforce a rule governing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on public and tribal lands.

August 23, 2016