DENVER (AP) -- Oil and gas companies are asking a federal appeals court to give the U.S. Department of Interior stricter guidelines on issuing oil and gas leases.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver was scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday about whether the Department's Bureau of Land Management must issue oil and gas leases within 60 days after they're sold.
The energy companies want the appeals court to overturn a federal ruling issued last year in Wyoming. The Wyoming judge said BLM needed to decide whether to issue an oil or gas lease within 60 days of auctioning it off. The lawsuit followed years of delays in issuing hundreds of leases in the West amid environmental protests.
The petroleum companies say the BLM should be required to issue auctioned leases.