Lawmakers urge Biden administration to finalize oil and gas rule

Apr 5, 2024

In a letter sent Thursday, lawmakers urged the Biden administration to finalize the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Rule by the end of April. The proposed rule would implement updates made by the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as increase minimum bond amounts that haven’t been updated in decades. The timing is important in order to avoid a potential reversal of the rule under the Congressional Review Act.

“The current oil and gas leasing program shortchanges the American public, locks up thousands of acres of land that could be put to other uses, invites speculation, and often leaves taxpayers on the hook to pay the cost of reclaiming orphaned wells and restoring surrounding lands and waters,” the letter states.

The oil and gas rule isn’t the only proposed rule waiting to be finalized; other rules, including the BLM’s Public Lands Rule, also need to be finalized in time to avoid being vulnerable to reversal under the Congressional Review Act. Learn more about a few of these pending rules in these resources from the Center for Western Priorities:

Quick hits

Conservation report ranks Montana 6th for land protection

KECI

Slashing methane emissions: A quest on land and in space

VOA

57 companies linked to 80 percent of carbon emissions since 2016

The Guardian

Wyoming wells show scale of public land clean-up cost

E&E News

Greater accountability sought for abandoned well cleanup in West

Utah Public Radio

After a long slog, climate change lawsuits will finally put Big Oil on trial

Stateline

Stone-Manning in Missoula: BLM busy, needs more people

Missoula Current

Cherish that hamburger. It cost a quarter of the Colorado River

Colorado Sun

Quote of the day

The most amount of progress that has been made in the last decade across all these Western states has been through executive action through the designation of large national monuments, and that’s just not something that’s happened for Montana. So it has just stagnated even though there’s this great legacy of conservation and protecting public lands in the state.”

—Lilly Bock-Brownstein, Center for Western Priorities, KECI

Picture This

@usinterior

Known for its striking geological features, including colorful rock formations and natural arches, the Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is a remote and pristine destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude and adventure in the Arizona desert landscape.

The area’s topographic diversity, scenic character and size enhance recreational opportunities, such as rock climbing, horseback riding and day hiking.

To sustain this wilderness, everyone must do their part to respect, connect and protect. Plan ahead and be aware of potential hazards. Due to infrequent maintenance and the wide range of road conditions that you might encounter, it is strongly recommended that high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles are used to access the wilderness boundary.

Photo by Bob Wick / @mypubliclands

 

Feature image: Oil and gas development, BLM Wyoming