US public lands leasing, development issues stir debate

Oil and gas leasing and public lands development issues are coming under increasing debate in the US.Uncertainty plagues federal leasing and post-leasing permitting, oil industry officials told the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources in late April. Companies need defined time frames and consistent, cost-effective regulations, the officials said.Meanwhile, US Interior Sec. Gale Norton defended the Bush administration's new emphasis on increased industry access to public lands in testimony before a Senate committee.Leasing scrutinized Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Barbara Cubin, (R-Wyo.), a vocal critic of the current federal land permitting process, held the oversight heari...

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