Latest U.S. Department of the Interior News

FILE - This Feb. 21, 2012, file photo, shows equipment in the oil fields of the Uintah Basin, southeast of Vernal, Utah. The Trump administration has started giving energy companies temporary breaks on royalties they must pay for oil and gas extracted from federal lands because of the coronavirus pandemic, government data shows. Royalty rate cuts so far have been authorized for at least 76 energy leases in Utah. (Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)

Trump administration cuts oil, gas fees in hundreds of cases

Jun. 10, 2020 7:35 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration has awarded energy companies hundreds of breaks on payments for oil and gas extraction from U.S. lands and the Gulf of Mexico during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government database and federal officials. The temporary breaks on royalty and rental...

Land management acting director remains, lawsuit filed

Jun. 8, 2020 3:00 PM EDT

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — The acting director of the Bureau of Land Management will remain in his position after the U.S. Department of the Interior extended his tenure despite a lawsuit disputing the appointment. William Perry Pendley has served as the federal bureau's acting director since July by...

Judge sides with tribe in lawsuit over reservation status

Jun. 6, 2020 6:11 PM EDT

A judge has stopped the federal government from rescinding its reservation designation for a Native American tribe's land in Massachusetts, ordering the Interior Department to review the matter and issue new findings. U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in Washington, D.C., granted a summary judgment on behalf of...

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2010, file photo, then-Secretary of Natural Resources-designate Doug Domenech speaks during a news conference in Richmond, Va. A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get a family member hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said. The Interior Department's Inspector General found that Assistant Interior Secretary Douglas Domenech reached out to a senior EPA official in person and later by email in 2017 to advocate for the unnamed relative when that person was seeking a job at the agency.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Probe: Top US official misused office to get son-in-law job

May. 29, 2020 5:23 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get his son-in-law hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said in a report obtained by The Associated Press. The Interior Department's...

FILE - In this May 9, 2008, file photo, male sage grouses fight for the attention of females southwest of Rawlins, Wyo. Judge Brian Morris said in a late Friday, May 22, 2020 ruling the Trump administration failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles of public lands in Wyoming and Montana. (Jerret Raffety/The Rawlins Daily Times via AP, File)

Judge strikes down US energy leasing rules in bird habitat

May. 26, 2020 5:18 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. judge has dealt another blow to the Trump administration's efforts to increase domestic oil and gas output from public lands, saying officials failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles. Judge Brian Morris...

FILE - In this April 4, 2013 file photo, a truck carrying 250 tons of coal hauls the fuel to the surface of the Spring Creek mine near Decker, Mont. A judge threw out a lawsuit on Friday, May 22, 2020, from a coalition of states, environmental groups and American Indians which sought to revive an Obama-era moratorium against U.S. government coal sales on public lands in the West. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said President Donald Trump's administration had fixed its initial failure to consider the environmental impacts of ending the moratorium. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown,File)

Judge nixes bid to stop coal sales that Trump revived

May. 22, 2020 7:09 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge threw out a lawsuit on Friday from a coalition of states, environmental groups and American Indians which sought to revive an Obama-era moratorium against U.S. government coal sales on public lands in the West. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said President Donald Trump's...