Author

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler is a national correspondent for States Newsroom.

Increases in royalties paid by oil and gas producers, lease rates targeted in Biden review

By: - March 27, 2021

Interior Department officials indicated this week the Biden administration would change some federal oil and gas policies in an effort to roll back the aggressive fossil fuel agenda of former President Donald Trump. Interior leaders at an online forum Thursday said rates the oil and gas industry pays for leasing, royalties and bonding could be […]

U.S. House panel divides on party lines over how to better conserve public lands

By: - March 24, 2021

In a preview of the arguments likely to be repeated as the Biden administration and Congress work toward conservation goals, Democrats on a U.S. House panel Tuesday outlined what they say is a need for aggressive action on climate. But Republicans worried increased federal involvement would be counterproductive to conservation goals while hurting rural economies. […]

Four big questions about the feds’ scrutiny of oil and gas leasing on public lands

By: - March 22, 2021

In his first week in office, President Joe Biden paused new oil and gas leasing on federal lands as his administration reviewed fossil fuel development policy. Now that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has taken office, the administration is gearing up to begin that process. A forum comprising the energy industry, conservation groups, labor organizations and […]

Haaland confirmation vote for Interior on tap despite GOP opposition

By: - March 9, 2021

The Senate is expected to vote within days on the confirmation of U.S. Rep. Debra A. Haaland to lead the Interior Department, despite procedural barriers Republicans from Montana and Wyoming announced Tuesday. Republican Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming placed holds on Haaland’s nomination, meaning the chamber now must take an […]

Biden reinstates bird protections gutted under Trump

By: - March 8, 2021

The Interior Department on Monday revoked a Trump administration policy that would have undercut a century-old law protecting migratory birds. The move strengthens federal regulators’ authority to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a 1918 law that allows the government to prosecute polluters whose actions are responsible for the deaths of about 1,100 protected bird […]

Biden pick for Interior secretary likely to face rocky confirmation hearing

By: - February 20, 2021

U.S. Senate Republicans may use next week’s Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states. GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will […]

Interior Department to review Bureau of Land Management move to Colorado

By: - February 14, 2021

The Biden administration is reviewing the Bureau of Land Management headquarters’ recent move from Washington, D.C., to western Colorado, even as the state’s congressional delegation has united in bipartisan opposition to any attempt to reverse the decision. An Interior Department spokesperson said this week that the department’s “new leadership will work with BLM career staff […]

Public lands protections could move ahead in Congress this year

By: - February 7, 2021

Democrats in Congress have a rare opportunity to advance an ambitious public lands agenda — if they can keep their tenuous majorities in line. They’re also working with a new president of the same party who’s pledged to expand wilderness protections and highlighted climate change as one of his top three priorities. Several bills that […]

Interior delays last-minute Trump rule that would weaken bird protections

By: - February 5, 2021

The Interior Department is delaying a last-minute Trump administration rule that would have weakened a century-old law protecting migratory birds, Interior officials said Thursday. Two weeks before former President Donald Trump left office, the Interior Department published a final rule that would have left the federal government unable to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act against polluters […]

Biden yanks Keystone XL permit in first-day order, citing climate change

By: - January 21, 2021

In one of his first official acts after taking office, President Joe Biden revoked the federal permit for the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline that would have traversed eastern Montana on its way from the Alberta oilfields to the Gulf of Mexico. The Wednesday move at least temporarily halts the construction on the highly contentious […]

Space Command HQ decision criticized as ‘politically motivated’

By: - January 13, 2021

The U.S. Air Force has selected Huntsville, Ala., as the permanent headquarters for the U.S. Space Command, passing over the command’s existing base in Colorado Springs, the Air Force said Wednesday. Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha also had been considered as a site for the command. Nebraska’s bid for the site included $107 million […]

Bipartisan members of Congress launch wildfire caucus

By: - January 5, 2021

Congressional Republicans and Democrats from the West are banding together with a common interest in mitigating and responding to the increasing intensity and frequency of wildfires. In a sign of the rising danger wildfires pose, Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado, a Democrat, and Rep. John Curtis, a Utah Republican, announced plans to launch the Bipartisan […]