12:29 GMT05 December 2020
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    US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has signed an order to speed up the process for getting onshore oil and gas leasing permits, according to the Interior Department.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has signed an order to speed up the process for getting onshore oil and gas leasing permits, the Interior Department said in a press release on Thursday.

    "US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today signed a secretarial order to tackle permitting backlogs and delays, identify solutions to improve the permitting process on federal lands, and to identify solutions to improve access to additional parcels of federal land that are appropriate for mineral development," the release stated.

    The release noted that while the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requires Applications for Permit to Drill (APD) reviews to be completed in 30 days, the average time it took last year was 257 days.

    Zinke wants BLM to conduct quarterly lease sales and bring in more help at the offices bearing the brunt of the permitting workload, the release added.


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