By Jason Johanson

On Friday, March 6, 2009, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stated that the agency is considering an appeal to the United States Supreme Court of the decision in Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp. v. U.S. Department of the Interior, __ F.3d __, 2009 WL57883 (5th Cir. Jan. 12, 2009), in which the Fifth Circuit held that Interior had violated Section 304 of the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act by imposing "price threshold" requirements that reduce a lessee’s royalty suspension volume below statutory minimums. Secretary Salazar also discussed Interior’s comprehensive review of the agency’s royalty management program, which may lead to an overhaul of the organizational structure of the Minerals Management Service. For more, please click here.