BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Idaho officials violated the U.S. Constitution by forcing several mineral rights owners to sell their natural gas and oil to a Texas company without giving them a meaningful way to fight the state’s decision.
The ruling Monday in U.S. District Court in Boise could have significant ramifications for a state-approved process intended to prevent a minority of mineral rights owners from stopping natural gas and oil production.
Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability filed the lawsuit last year contending the state discriminated against landowners with an order finalizing a deal that favors Houston-based Alta Mesa.
The court ruling directs Idaho officials to vacate the order, rescind lease contracts, and hold a new hearing.
Idaho officials say they’re reviewing the ruling.
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