U.S. Rejects Environmental Reviews on Mortgages Linked to Drilling

“All this is to discourage people from issuing leases on their lands.”

The New York Times reports:

Federal agriculture officials will not require an extensive environmental review before issuing mortgages to people who have leased their land for oil and gas drilling, according to a notice released by the Department of Agriculture this week.

The notice represents a reversal from what lawyers and environmental officials in the agency’s Washington and regional offices previously told landowners and members of Congress in e-mails…