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Environment & Energy Report

ENERGY BRIEFING: Rule Could Expand Drilling in National Forests

May 29, 2020, 10:18 AM

A proposed U.S. Forest Service rule stands to weaken a check on oil and gas development in national forests and possibly give the Interior Department more sway over land leasing decisions, legal analysts and conservationists say.

The rulemaking, announced in 2018, aims to align the Forest Service’s leasing practices with those of the Bureau of Land Management to speed up fossil fuel development in national forests and grasslands nationwide, including oil and gas-rich forests in Ohio, Mississippi, and Colorado.

The White House is reviewing a draft of the proposed rule, which will be published in June or July, Tracy Parker,...

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