The Terra News
30Jun/17Off

As Trump moves to grow oil and gas, House considers curbing environmental suits

By James Osborne Updated 7:42 am, Friday, June 30, 2017

WASHINGTON – When it comes to expanding U.S. oil and gas production, President Donald Trump has few greater hurdles than litigation from environmental groups that can tie up companies and federal agencies for years.
Now Republicans in Congress are examining ways by which to reduce the delays such litigation can bring to drilling and mining projects on federal lands.
"In reality a legal subindustry has thrived from endless environmental litigation," Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louis., said at a hearing in the House Committee on Natural Resources this week. "Our legal system is an important avenue for citizens seeking redress of wrongs perpetuated by the federal government... however special interests repeatedly exploit our legal system to further their own agendas."

So far House Republicans have not introduced any legislation or made specific recommendations on how the Department of Interior might go about speeding up the legal process. But members of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations heard testimony this week from an attorney that has frequently represented the oil and gas industry and Caroline Lobdell, head of the Western Resources Legal Center, which trains law students for careers representing mining, timber, oil and gas and ranching interests.
Lobdell recommended a series of administrative changes at the Department of Interior, including moves to reduce environmental groups ability to recover attorneys' fees and reducing the practice of putting strict requirements on companies operating on federal lands.
http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/As-Trump-moves-to-expand-oil-and-gas-House-11256123.php

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