BLM misinterpreted and breached drilling law, GAO finds

09/16/2009 | Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model)

The Bureau of Land Management constantly misunderstood and violated the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which allows speeding up oil and gas drilling, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. The law established "categorical exclusions" that let new oil and gas wells skip detailed environmental assessment. The BLM approved such exclusions in more than 25% of drilling permits given between 2006 and 2008, and this might have resulted in more drilling than should have been allowed, the report said.

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