Sen. Cortez Masto (Nev.) Introduces Bill to End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing on Federally Managed Public Lands

On March 4, 2021 Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced a bill that would end speculative oil and gas leasing on federally managed public lands. In Colorado, for example, the Bureau of Land Management has offered in its quarterly lease sales lands with low oil and gas potential that are relied upon by bighorn sheep and several species of greatest conservation need under the Colorado State Wildlife Action Plan. CWF and NWF repeatedly had submitted comments to BLM  during public comment periods for each proposed sale explaining why these low oil and gas development potential lands should not be leased. To no avail. We applaud this bill that would end this wasteful practice. Such lands, if not sold at lease sales, are then available for non-competitive leases at very low prices. (Senator Masto had introduced this bill previously, too, during the last session of Congress.) The bill would not apply to existing leases.