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President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team is relying on the help of a top official who spearheaded a program financed by billionaire activist Michael Bloomberg to take environmental legal actions against the Trump administration and oil and natural gas companies by placing and paying the salaries of lawyers inside state attorneys general offices.

House Natural Resources Committee YouTube

Western states should soon have another ally at the Interior Department after Katharine MacGregor completed a confirmation hearing before a Senate committee. MacGregor, who has served as acting deputy secretary since David Bernhardt was promoted to Interior Secretary last April, was officially nominated for the position at the end of September. She was nominated to the post of Deputy Secretary of the Interior on October 1.

Above the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo.--Shutterstock

A new report released by the Department of Interior shows that commercial and recreational activity on public lands continues to play a huge role in supporting economic growth and job creation in the United States, especially in Western states.

Restore Our Parks Act Moves Closer to House Vote

by Erin Mundahl October 16, 2019

Western Wire

The Restore Our Parks Act, a bipartisan bill to boost National Parks Service funding to cover a deferred maintenance backlog, has passed a key hurdle and should be ready for a vote soon in the U.S. House. The National Parks Service could see an influx of funding to cover its deferred maintenance backlog, thanks to the legislation which has so far attracted 317 bipartisan cosponsors

The Interior Department’s acting Deputy Secretary, Kate MacGregor, has been nominated by President Trump by President Trump to assume that role on a permanent basis.

The grant money comes from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which collects revenues from offshore oil and gas leasing from the Outer Continental Shelf. The awards are administered by the National Park Service with matching federal grants. 

Bureau of Land Management

The Interior Department requested last week that a federal circuit court allow it to revise environmental reviews of oil and gas leases sold in 2015 and 2016 in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. As E&E News reported, the department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) asked the District Court for the District of Columbia permission to redo environmental reviews through the National Environmental Policy Act of oil and gas leases sold from the Obama administration. Adjusting the reviews is an attempt by the department to head off a potentially worse court decisions in the three states.