The U.S. Forest Service has agreed to pay an oil and gas industry group $530,000 for attorney fees it incurred in a long-running battle over drilling in the Allegheny National Forest, according to a court document filed Thursday.
The Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association sued to overturn a 2009 agreement between the government and two environmental groups that banned drilling while the agency conducted an environmental impact study. The industry contended that the ban exceeded the Forest Service’s authority.
U.S. District Judge Sean McLaughlin agreed and, in September 2012, permanently overturned the agreement. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his ruling in January 2014.
I await the cries of indignation.