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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decision to reverse the Obama Administration’s sagebrush habitat guidance impacting sage grouse is winning praise from top Western lawmakers. “We welcome Interior’s willingness to move towards a common-sense modification which will better protect the sagebrush habitat for the grouse,” a spokesperson for the U.S. …

U.S. Department of the Interior

Embed from Getty Images A Wyoming representative leading the effort to amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, along with solar and oil and gas trade associations, applauded the Department of Interior decision to clarify conflicting interpretations of the law for incidental “takings” and decriminalize accidental bird deaths Friday. Rep. Liz …

Patagonia.com

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard declined an invitation by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) to testify before members of Congress on federal land management policies in the wake of the reduction of Bears Ears National Monument earlier in December. In a blog post on Patagonia’s website, Chouinard, the company’s founder, called the invitation to testify before the committee “disingenuous.”

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined fellow “Green 20” colleague, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, in filing a lawsuit Tuesday against the Trump administration and the Bureau of Land Management over the decision by the agency to suspend its waste prevention rule on methane emissions. In a joint release Balderas, along with Becerra, called the decision to suspend the rule “arbitrary and capricious.” It’s the second lawsuit filed by Balderas and Becerra on the rule this year.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The announcement of a potential partnership for the Pebble Mine project resurrected hopes the copper and gold mining project would finally move forward in Alaska. In twin statements, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. both revealed the framework for an option agreement that would give First Quantum a right to acquire a 50 percent interest in the Pebble Limited Partnership for $1.35 billion after a four-year installment plan totaling $150 million.

Denver Capitol

Source: Hustvedt

Colorado’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy by the 2040s could cost as much as $45 billion, or more than $32,000 for a family of four, according to a new report released by the Denver-based free market think tank Independence Institute. The study, commissioned by the Independence Institute and conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA), evaluates two possible paths to 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2040, a goal offered by two Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidates running in 2018.

BLM

New Mexico’s fourth quarter Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sale drew more than $30 million in competitive bids for more than 2,100 acres across the state’s southeastern Permian Basin. The BLM New Mexico office received $30,357,505 for 7 parcels totaling 2,104 acres for the December 7 lease sale. The state’s federal quarterly lease sales have yielded $167,639,147 in bids in 2017. Wyoming has drawn $170,383,683 in bids over its first three quarterly sales, with its final offering later this week. States receive roughly half of the BLM proceeds, splitting the revenue with the federal government.