Bennett releases hold on Interior nominee

Bennett releases hold on Interior nominee

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett released a procedural hold on a Department of Interior nominee after resolving a dispute over oil and gas development near some of Utah's national parks.

Environmental attorney David Hayes was confirmed by voice vote Wednesday night. Bennett and the GOP senators who had opposed his nomination said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had promised to review a recent decision to revoke 77 oil and gas leases in Utah.

Salazar had revoked the leases that were auctioned off near the end of President George W. Bush's administration.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance says it will sit down with Hayes to explain why the leases have been held up by a federal lawsuit.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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