Federal oil and gas lease sales return to Montana (Billings Gazette)

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    Federal oil and gas lease sales return to Montana – By Tom Lutey (Billings Gazette) / Jan 14, 2024

    Federal oil and gas leases in Montana are expected to resume in July after a two-year hiatus.

    The Bureau of Land Management announced the 3,521-acre July sale at December’s end with multiple Montana locations.

    Last July, the Bureau of Land Management canceled the sale of several thousand lease acres after conservation groups pointed out the BLM, a branch of The Department of Interior, wasn’t following new leasing laws established by the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022.

    The IRA reforms were to fix a leasing system that congressional Democrats said no longer served the public interest. Noncompetitive leasing, a practice credited with driving prices to less than $2 an acre, was still taking place in Montana, despite changes to the law. Ten of the 26 parcels pulled from a Montana sale scheduled for last September were anonymously nominated, a practice that was supposed to end.

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