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Lawsuit challenges cancellation of Montana oil, gas leases

In this file photo taken in 2005 and provided by the Montana Wilderness Association, the Blackleaf area of the Rocky Mountain Front south of Glacier National Park, in Montana, is shown. Moncrief Oil International Inc.’s president has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to reinstate an oil and gas lease in a wilderness area of the Rocky Mountain Front. The lease was cancelled under President Barack Obama. (JEFF VAN TINE / AP)
In this file photo taken in 2005 and provided by the Montana Wilderness Association, the Blackleaf area of the Rocky Mountain Front south of Glacier National Park, in Montana, is shown. Moncrief Oil International Inc.’s president has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to reinstate an oil and gas lease in a wilderness area of the Rocky Mountain Front. The lease was cancelled under President Barack Obama. (JEFF VAN TINE / AP)
Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. – An oil and gas company president has filed a lawsuit over the cancellation of an oil and gas lease in a wilderness area bordering Glacier National Park in Montana.

William Moncrief Jr., president of Moncrief Oil International Inc., filed the lawsuit earlier this month in federal circuit court in Washington, D.C.

The lawsuit contends the federal government illegally canceled an oil and gas lease and asks the court to reinstate the lease.

Shortly before former President Barack Obama left office, the U.S. Interior Department canceled the last two remaining leases within the 165,000-acre area along the Rocky Mountain Front, land considered sacred to the Blackfeet Tribe. Leaseholders were offered refunds of about $30,000 each.

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