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The Interior Department requested last week that a federal circuit court allow it to revise environmental reviews of oil and gas leases sold in 2015 and 2016 in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. As E&E News reported, the department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) asked the District Court for the District of Columbia permission to redo environmental reviews through the National Environmental Policy Act of oil and gas leases sold from the Obama administration. Adjusting the reviews is an attempt by the department to head off a potentially worse court decisions in the three states.
Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend that typically launches the summer vacation season and millions of visitors driving to the nation’s extensive park system, the Interior Department released a report outlining the more than $40 billion in economic benefits from spending in gateway communities. The annual National Park Visitor Spending Effects report details the $20.2 billion spent in communities located within 60 miles of a park in the National Park System, estimating more than 318 million visitors in 2018 and support for hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Emails between environmentalists and state administrative officials have raised questions in Colorado and New Mexico, as new leadership in both states pushed for aggressive legislation aimed at increasing regulations and driving renewable energy development. Open records requests in both states were used to obtain emails between key officials and outside activist groups. The emails detail what appears to be coordination and even influence exerted on cabinet-level and senior-level officials in the administrations of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt expressed increasing certainty that potentially multiple agencies under his administration would see significant staff, if not entire the entire headquarters, moved west, out of Washington, D.C. Bernhardt testified Wednesday before the Democratically-controlled House Natural Resources committee.
Oil is a growth business, despite the change in the world’s energy mix. With exports from the Bakken formation centered on western North Dakota already heading to Asian and European markets, the future for North American shale and onshore production, for at least the next two decades, appears promising, according to Barry Biggs, Vice President of Onshore for Hess.
A reporter barred from attending a climate event organized by the Sunrise Movement and headlined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke out today, as reporters from across the country took issue with the group’s decision to shut out someone how regularly covers climate issues. Josh Siegel, an energy and environment reporter for the Washington Examiner, argued he was not allowed access to the event because he reports for the outlet, ostensibly because of its editorial lean.
The largest oil and gas company in the world and a Colorado national research laboratory announced a groundbreaking agreement Wednesday to advance lower-emissions technologies to combat climate change. ExxonMobil has pledged up to $100 million over the next ten years in a partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and other Department of Energy laboratories across the country with a focus on “developing transformative advanced energy technologies with a focus on reducing emissions.”