No just equivalent has been given those States for a surrender of an attribute of sovereignty so important to their welfare, and to an equal standing with the original States.
The year was The argument became known as the Equal Footing Doctrine. The petition apparently was successful.
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Today various federal agencies control roughly half of the 11 westernmost states, while only 4 percent of the rest of the states is under federal dominion. Pendley at least has expressed the right attitude about the sovereign states, whether he can deliver is yet to be seen. Thomas Mitchell is a longtime Nevada newspaper columnist.
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Environmental groups are pressing Interior to formally recuse Pendley from any involvement in a court case in which he is still the counsel of record representing an aging businessman, Sidney Longwell and his small company Solenex. Longwell wants permission to build a six-mile service road and bridge over the Two Medicine River on lands considered sacred by the Blackfeet Tribe.
Interior wants to cancel the lease. He would use the road to bring in drilling rigs and other oil exploration equipment. By fixing this pivotal deal in — and getting away with it — Mr.
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Pendley may be one of the most important faceless functionaries in the expansion of coal use in the United States. Administrations that succeeded Reagan sought to block development, arguing that the leases were issued improperly in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historical Preservation Act.
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Obama officials proposed buyouts and in November , Devon Energy took one. That left just two leases: Solenex and one owned by oil driller W. Moncrief Jr. The Obama administration offered to give Solenex enough money to cover expenses to date, while a private philanthropy offered additional funding.
The Blackfeet tribe, which says the current leases are in particularly sensitive places, offered a swap for 26 parcels of tribal land already producing oil. The tribe said other parts of its reservation do not have the same sensitivity. When Zinke — a Montana native — took the helm of Interior in , he said he would keep pressing for the cancellation of the leases. The GAO report highlighted a dinner Pendley, then head of the Minerals Management Service, and another Interior official and their wives attended a dinner with two coal company attorneys on March 19, , the same day that Pendley and his colleague had made a favorable decision regarding bids on Powder River Basin coal leases.
Since Pendley joined the Mountain States Legal Foundation in , the group has represented a variety of clients in political cases. Unser said he and a friend got lost in a blizzard. In , the foundation, represented by Pendley himself, filed litigation seeking to narrow protections for grizzly bears on national forest lands.
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