MTPR

U.S. Department of Interior

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmental groups sued the Trump administration on Monday for selling oil and gas leases on huge swaths of Western public lands while allegedly ignoring policies meant to protect an imperiled bird.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity asked a federal judge in Idaho to reverse lease sales totaling 475 square miles (1,230 square kilometers) in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.

Watchdog: Zinke Charter Flight Approved Without Full Info

Apr 16, 2018
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Nicky Ouellet

WASHINGTON (AP) — A $12,000 charter flight by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was reviewed and approved by department ethics officials without complete information, because staffers who helped schedule the trip did not provide sufficient details, an internal watchdog said Monday.

Yellowstone Park's east entrance.
Diane Renkin-NPS (PD)

The Interior Department is increasing fees at 17 popular national parks, including Glacier and Yellowstone, to $35 per vehicle, backing down from an earlier plan that would have forced visitors to pay $70 per vehicle.

Editor's Note: In an earlier version of this story Kathleen Sgamma was quoted as saying reducing royalty rates increases revenue for industry and the federal government.  Her point was in fact that reducing regulatory barriers achieves this goal.

On Wednesday, an Interior Department advisory panel will propose changing how the government receives royalties from coal dug up on federal lands. But some critics are calling foul as panel members either come from the energy industry or energy-producing states.


Oil well.
(PD)

A U.S. District Court judge Thursday ordered the reinstatement of an oil and gas industry regulation that aims to lower harmful methane emissions. Environmental groups say it’s a win for states including Montana.

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