Last updated: May 07. 2013 5:40PM - 476 Views
Associated Press

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(AP) Federal land managers are postponing all oil and gas lease auctions in California until October, citing budget problems and low staffing, and the toll of environmental litigation.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday it would put off an auction planned for later this month to sell leases to drill almost 1,300 acres of prime public lands near the Monterey Shale, home to one of the largest deposits of shale oil in the nation.

A federal judge ruled last month that BLM had violated a key environmental law when the agency auctioned the drilling rights for other parcels near the Salinas River Valley before performing a sweeping review of the impacts on water, wildlife and air quality.

BLM spokesman David Christy says the agency is concentrating its resources on enforcement on existing leases.

Associated Press
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