GAO FAULTS INTERIOR FOR ISSUANCE OF 10 DEVELOPMENT PACTS

The General Accounting Office has challenged the legality of more than 11 million acres of oil and gas leases the U.S. Interior Department has issued to operators in western states. The leases were issued under 10 special "development contracts" the Bureau of Land Management approved between March 1986 and July 1988. BLM has halted the practice, and GAO is urging Congress to review the matter. GAO, a congressional watchdog agency, reports BLM used the development contracts to circumvent a law

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