"A federal court ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management had an illegitimate director for more than a year has cast doubt over a slew of the agency’s recently completed efforts to boost oil and gas development on federal lands, according to lawyers and environmental groups.
The development is the latest in a string of legal headaches for President Donald Trump’s government as it seeks to roll back regulation on industry.
William Perry Pendley, the BLM’s deputy director for programs and policy, served unlawfully as the agency’s director for more than 400 days because he was not confirmed by the Senate as required by law, according to the ruling last week by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Montana. ...
Morris said “any ‘function or duty’ of the BLM Director that has been performed by Pendley would have no force and effect and must be set aside.” He gave attorneys 10 days to list which decisions by Pendley should be impacted."