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Bush-Era Interior Secretary Gale Norton Worked With Shell On Strategy For Controversial 11th-Hour Deals: LA Times

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reporting from Washington - The Obama Interior Department is reviewing a decision made by the Bush administration in its final days that attempted to lock in lucrative royalty rates and favorable regulations for oil companies holding leases for oil-shale development on public lands.

The decision, which came in the form of amendments to existing leases, drew little public notice at the end of the Bush administration in January. But since then, congressional watchdogs, environmental groups and state officials in Colorado, where most of the leases are located, have denounced the amendments as a massive giveaway to the oil industry.

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