A federal judge threw out oil and gas leases on nearly one million acres of public lands that are important habitat for the greater sage grouse, arguing that a Trump administration policy that curtailed public input on the leases was "arbitrary and capricious." At the start of 2018, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had issued a memo shortening the period for public comment and protest on oil and gas leases from 30 days to 10, Huffpost reported . But U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush ruled in Idaho Thursday that around $125 million worth of leases issued under the new policy be tossed out and the full 30-day comment period restored. In his decision , Bush argued that BLM could not only consider the economic needs of fossil fuel industries at the expense of all other concerns. "If the words ‘justice so requires’ are to mean anything, they must satisfy the fundamental understanding of justice: that it requires an impartial look at the balance struck between the two sides of the scale, as the iconic statue of the blindfolded goddess of justice holding the scales aloft depicts," he wrote. "Merely to look at only one side of the […]

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