Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Judge says conservation group can look into energy panel

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – A conservation group can seek details from the Trump administration on whether it used the recommendations of a disbanded committee to craft policies on oil, gas and coal extraction.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy says there is “a significant question” on whether the administration followed the advice of the Royalty Policy Committee.

The industry-dominated panel was created under former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to remove obstacles to natural resource extraction.

It was disbanded last year, and Molloy later said it had been established illegally.

The judge’s ruling Thursday allows the Western Organization of Resource Councils to seek documents, depositions áand other materials from the administration.

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