Alabama
5:59 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Feds Postpone Lease Auction In Talladega Forest

Anniston, AL – Next week's auction for drilling rights in the Talladega National Forest is off.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management announced Friday that they would delay the June 14 auction for oil and gas drilling rights to allow more public informational meetings. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said the agency wants to ensure people have ample input into decisions involving the management of national forests. The service did not say how that would be done or when the auction

Several Alabama officials, including U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers and former Gov. John Patterson, have questioned the auction. Patterson said Friday the Talladega National Forest is ``an Alabama treasurer'' and it shouldn't be opened to drilling without a fight.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)