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BLM, drilling firm try to close hearing in tribe's case

The federal government and a drilling company tried unsuccessfully on Monday to close a hearing in a lawsuit brought by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana.

The Bureau of Land Management and Fidelity Exploration and Production Co. filed a motion to close the hearing, citing the release of potentially private financial information. But the judge hearing the case swiftly rejected it, calling the move "unprecedented," The Billings Gazette reported.

The tribe and the Northern Plains Resource Council, an environmental group, are suing the federal government over the approval of coalbed methane development in the state. The judge has ruled that BLM didn't conduct a proper study of the plan.

Get the Story:
Judge refuses to close coalbed methane hearing (The Billings Gazette 3/23)

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