The Bureau of Land Management is doing its part for national energy security. In mid-April, the agency announced its new policy for approving oil and gas permits. Now, the BLM will simultaneously process multiple permits with similar characteristics, instead of evaluating and providing environmental analysis for each one (HCN, 4/14/03: Grass roots prevail in ANWR and Wyoming). The hunt is still on: Even though black bear numbers are dropping, the New Mexico Game Commission has decided to keep its 2003-2004 bear-hunting season on track (HCN, 9/30/02: It's open season on New Mexico's bears). The commission did not want to cancel the hunt because outfitters have already booked thousands of dollars worth of guided hunts in the state.
Water from coalbed methane wells is
indeed "industrial waste" - this according to the 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals. The court agreed with the Northern Plains
Resource Council that the state of Montana must regulate the
wastewater under the Clean Water Act and cannot allow drillers to
dump the waste into rivers (HCN, 10/28/02: Judges rule gas leases
The state of Colorado is
determined to get water from remote parts of the state to
drought-stricken cities like Denver and Colorado Springs. A new
agreement brokered by the Interior Department gives the Black
Canyon of the Gunnison National Park year-round rights to only 300
cubic feet per second, and allows the state to buy the remaining
water rights (HCN, 6/7/99: Black Canyon National Park?). The meager
amount to be left in the river - spring floods normally run around
3,000 cfs - has environmental groups worried.
The Interior Department's number-two man, Stephen
Griles, seems to be confused about who he's working for.
In September 2001, two months after his confirmation, Griles took
part in meetings that resulted in the Bush administration paying
Chevron USA Inc. $46 million to abandon a gas project off the coast
of Florida. Before joining Interior, Griles had worked as a
lobbyist for Chevron. As a condition of his Senate confirmation, he
had promised to stay out of issues involving his former employer
for one year.