Analysis shows overwhelming public support for proposed Oil and Gas Rule

Sep 27, 2023

A new statistical analysis of more than 260,000 public comments finds universal support for the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule updating the regulations that govern oil and gas leasing on American public lands. The proposed rule would bring BLM’s regulations into compliance with the Inflation Reduction Act’s overhaul of the leasing, rental, and royalty rates oil and gas companies pay to extract oil and gas owned by the American people. The rule would also update requirements for the bonds that companies must post in order to ensure they clean up after themselves.

The Center for Western Priorities performed a sentiment analysis on a random sample of 10,000 public comments submitted to, which found more than 99 percent of the comments encouraged the Interior Department to adopt the Oil and Gas Rule largely as written. Another one half of one percent of the comments were neutral on the details of the rule, generally requesting that BLM end all oil and gas drilling or take other actions outside the scope of the proposed rule. Just one tenth of one percent of the public comments encouraged BLM to withdraw or significantly weaken the proposed rule. The statistical analysis has a margin of error of ±0.5 percent.

“The overwhelming response to the BLM’s common-sense reforms shows a level of consensus that’s unprecedented for a federal rulemaking,” said Aaron Weiss, deputy director at the Center for Western Priorities and the author of the analysis. “Finding any opposition in the public comments is like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

With the comment period closed, the BLM will now review and respond to technical comments on the proposed rule. A final rule is expected to be published in the winter or spring of 2024.

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Quote of the day


There’s still going to be places where you say, yes, there’s lithium in the ground here, but this is a no-go. We’re going to have to make some choices in a world that’s already experiencing the effects of climate change. What’s not our drinking water today, in five years we may already be relying on it.”

—Aimee Boulanger, executive director of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, NPR

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baby bear


The perfect bear doesn’t exis..


This little guy has been working hard trying to become a contender for #FatBearJunior! Eat, sleep, gain chub, repeat. It’s tough work being a cub! (This baby fell asleep mid-meal. Swipe, you won’t regret it. )


#FatBearJunior is almost here! Today, we reveal our chubby cubby contenders and the long-awaited Fat Bear Junior 2023 bracket matchups!


Which tubby tot will take your heart (and your votes)?  Find out today at 3PM AKDT/7PM EDT on Explore’s livechat page, by tapping the link in our bio!


Photo description: In the first photo, a chunky spring cub sits while eating. In the next photo, the little fluff ball has fallen asleep mid-meal while sitting up!


Photo credits: NPS Photos/F. Jimenez


Feature photo: Oil rigs on public land in California, John Ciccarelli, BLM.