A federal judge has denied an oil and gas trade group’s petition to hold the U.S. Forest Service in contempt for allegedly delaying drilling projects.

U.S. District Court Judge Sean J. McLaughlin of the Western District of Pennsylvania said in an opinion issued Friday that while the court “is concerned that there is some evidence to suggest that delay has replaced diligence as the hallmark of the Forest Service’s processing of drilling proposals,” plaintiff Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, a nonprofit trade association that represents Pennsylvania oil and natural gas companies, failed to prove contempt.

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