U.S. District Court rules agencies must disclose names of potential oil and gas drillers

Posted: Feb 15, 2013

Written by

KRISTEN LEIGH PAINTER, Denver Post
Colo. drilling

A U.S. District Court in Denver handed down a precedent-setting decision on Wednesday, ruling that the Bureau of Land Management must reveal the names of companies or individuals who are nominating public land for oil and gas drilling.

The order by Judge Richard P. Matsch overturned an 18-year-old policy, ruling that it is unlawful under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to conceal the information. The ruling comes from the Citizens for a Healthy Community (CHC) vs. United States Department of the Interior and United States Bureau of Land Management court case.

CHC and the Western Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit against the agencies in June after BLM refused to disclose the identities of the entities that had nominated 30,000 acres of public lands in Colorado's North Fork Valley for oil and gas development.

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