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Judge restores oil lease on land sacred to US, Canada tribes | News Channel 3-12 – KEYT

By MATTHEW BROWN

Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the Biden administration to reinstate a drilling lease that has been in dispute for decades on land near the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The energy lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area in northwestern Montana was cancelled in 2016.  Badger-Two-Medicine is the site of the Blackfeet’s creation story and is sacred to tribes in the U.S. and Canada. But federal Judge Richard Leon said officials lacked authority to withdraw the lease so many years after it was sold. He ordered Interior Department officials to reinstate the 10-square-mile lease and a issue a drilling permit to Solenex LLC, the Louisiana company that holds it.

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