Dept. of Interior issues oil and gas leasing reform rule

Today [April 12] the US Department of the Interior issued its awaited ” Fluid Mineral Leases and Leasing Process Rule.” CWF applauds BLM for today’s oil and gas leasing program reforms because it prioritizes balanced management of public lands – a balance that benefits our rural communities, wildlife habitat they need to survive, recreation, grazing, and responsible energy development. BLM heard the public with more than 215,000 public comments, the vast majority of which supported these reforms. It is fair that energy companies pay reasonable royalties that are in line with what states charge, post reasonable bonds and clean up when they drill on our public lands. All too often taxpayers and government have been stuck with the massive clean-up costs and remediation with wells are simply abandoned or orphaned. Also BLM will focus on leasing in areas with the highest potential for oil and gas development and less conflict with other uses. This is really important to CWF because in the past some areas that have been leased have little or no oil and gas development potential but are squarely located in high priority habitats. We had urged BLM not to lease in such areas – such as severe elk and deer winter range, migration corridors and bighorn sheep winter range and birthing areas.

Here is the press release