The deal was filed in federal court Friday by attorneys for the Bureau of Land Management and three environmental groups that had sued to block drilling.

The groups wanted the government to force companies to reduce emissions of methane from oil and gas fields. Under Friday's agreement federal officials must consider such steps but are not compelled to adopt them.

Separately, the Obama administration in March proposed new regulations to reduce methane pollution nationwide. Attorney Erik Schlenker-Goodrich with the Western Environmental Law Center says that proposal offered a better way to address the issue than continuing with the lawsuit.


Reported by the Associated Press.