Fate Of The Struggling Greater Sage Grouse Shaping Energy Development In U.S. West

December 4, 2014 5:01 PM

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SARATOGA, Wyo. (AP) — Efforts to conserve a struggling species of grouse that ranges across the Western U.S. are having far-reaching effects on the region's energy industry as the Obama administration decides whether the bird needs more protections.

Sales of leases on 8.1 million acres of federal oil and gas parcels — an area larger than Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined — are on hold because of worries that drilling could harm greater sage grouse, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.

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