“No harm, no foul” doesn’t exist in oil and gas leasing

Feb 14, 2022

Across the West, huge swaths of public lands are open to oil and gas leasing in “resource management plans” (RMPs) prepared by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This leads to rampant speculation in public lands that are supposed to be managed for the benefit of all Americans, not just the oil and gas executives. While the industry claims that undrilled leases have no negative impacts on other uses of the public lands, a new analysis finds that wilderness-quality lands are nearly 3 TIMES less likely to be managed to protect those characteristics if they are overlapped by oil and gas leases—even if those leases are purely speculative and are not being drilleddemonstrating an immediate need to overhaul the BLM’s industry-friendly oil and gas leasing system.