American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 21

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IndustryDigest
that working families, businesses and first
responders rely on every day, that will be
critical to our country's economic
recovery," the coalition asserted. ❒

Federal Judge Tosses
440 Oil, Gas Leases To
Protect Sage Grouse
GREAT FALLS, MT.-Claiming the
Bureau of Land Management has failed
to protect sage grouse habitat, a federal
judge has invalidated 440 oil and gas
leases in 10 Western states.
Ruling in Montana Wildlife Federation v. David Bernhardt, District Judge
Brian Morris says carrying out a directive from President Trump caused the
bureau to upend conservation plans created in 2015 that preserved habitat. The
Western Energy Alliance intervened on
behalf of the defendants in the case,
which was heard in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Montana.
Trump issued an executive order in
2017 that directed agencies to review all
guidance documents that could hinder
energy development. Under that EO,
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke directed BLM to modify leasing policies.
That led to the bureau issuing a 2018 internal memo that stated it no longer had
to prioritize leasing or development outside of sage grouse habitat management
areas before allowing activities within
them.
After BLM scheduled a lease sale for
Montana lands in 2017, the litigants
sued, alleging BLM failed to prioritize
leasing outside sage grouse habitats.
Nearly 90% of the offered parcels were
within the bird's general habitat, court

documents note. The bureau proposed
another lease sale for Montana acreage
for 2018, which Montana Wildlife
protested, under an identical complaint.
"The court sees no reason to leave the
2018 IM in place," Morris concludes.
"BLM's errors undercut the very reason
that the 2015 plans created a priority requirement in the first place and prevent
BLM from fulfilling that requirement's
goals. As for the lease sales, the errors
here occurred at the beginning of the oil
and gas lease sale process, infecting
everything that followed."
His ruling vacates the 2018 IM and the
lease sales covering more than 336,000
acres, except for the acreage offered by
the Butte Field office in Montana, which
does not hold any sage grouse habitat.
The decision means the government must
return revenue from the sales.
Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma
predicts Morris' ruling will be overturned. "The bottom line is a new administration has the ability to change
policies as long as it does it properly,
and the Trump administration has done
it properly." ❒

Texas Alliance Hires
Former RRC Staffer
As Its New President
AUSTIN, TX.-The Texas Alliance of
Energy Producers has hired Jason
Modglin as its president. Before joining
the Alliance, he served as director of
public affairs for Texas Railroad
Commissioner Christi Craddick.
"The Alliance membership forms
the backbone of the Texas oil and gas
industry, bringing a dynamism and
entrepreneurial spirit that fuels not just

JASON
MODGLIN

our engines but also our quality of life
and economy," Modglin says. "I am
honored to support their resiliency by
joining the Alliance during this critical
time and expanding our proven
legislative and regulatory track record,
thanks to our staff, board and past
leadership."
Prior to working in Craddick's office,
Modglin was chief of staff for House
Energy Resources Chairman Drew
Darby, R-San Angelo, and a policy
analyst for Texas Agriculture
Commissioner Todd Staples.
A Houston native, Modglin holds a
master of public affairs degree from
the Lyndon B. Johnson School of
Public Affairs at the University of
Texas at Austin and a B.A. from
Southwestern University.
"Jason Modglin is an outstanding
choice to lead the Alliance, and that's
why our board selected him
unanimously as we strive to help our
members through this difficult period
and beyond," says Alliance Chairman
Cye Wagner, exploration manager for
Cooper Oil & Gas Inc. "His knowledge
of legislative and regulatory policy will
be invaluable as we continue to make
Texas the greatest environment for oil
and gas production in the world." ❒

Bulldog Specialties is proud to be partnered with these fine companies
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Hobbs, NM 88240
Tel: 575-391-9292
Toll Free: 800-870-1926
JUNE 2020 21


http://www.bulldogspecialties.com

American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - Intro
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 4
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 5
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 6
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 7
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 8
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 9
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 10
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 11
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 12
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 13
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 17
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 18
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 19
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 21
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/202006
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