Coalition Executive Council member Mark Butler recently participated in a telepresser about the fourth consecutive oil and gas lease sale in Nevada. This sale involves approximately 775,000 acres of public lands located in Lincoln and White Pine Counties, within the scenic vistas and views of Great Basin National Park. The call was set up to call attention to the need for “more thoughtful policies that balance oil and gas leasing with public land conservation, protecting fish and wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation opportunities in Nevada.” More information can be found in the press release, or via the full audio, linked below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2019
Press Contact: Abby Grehlinger (856) 340-6656
ICYMI: Ahead of an Unprecedented Fourth Consecutive Lease Sale in Nevada This Quarter, Taxpayer Advocates, Wildlife Conservationists and Former Park Superintendent Call for Changes to Lease Sales
** Listen to Today’s Press Call HERE **
(Washington, D.C.) –– Today, ahead of the fourth consecutive oil and gas lease sale in Nevada this quarter, taxpayer advocates and sportsmen and women and a former Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent joined a press briefing to call attention to the need for more thoughtful policies that balance oil and gas leasing with public land conservation, protecting fish and wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation opportunities in Nevada.
Ryan Alexander, President, Taxpayers for Common Sense said:
“In Nevada, federal lease sales reveal the system at its worst. Only a small fraction of the parcels put up for competitive auction ever sell and when they do it’s likely for the legal minimum of $2 dollars per acre.”
“Federal and state taxpayers are leaving billions on the table due to antiquated oil and gas policies and giving away land at rock bottom prices. It is past time to overhaul the system and provide a fair return for taxpayers. “
Mark A. Butler, Former Superintendent, Joshua Tree National Park said:
“With this week’s Ely District December lease sale offering about 192,000 acres in both Lincoln and White Pine Counties, we expect a significant number of additional acres to be sold that can … impact Great Basin National Park’s stunning scenic views and vistas, its internationally recognized and absolutely beautiful night sky, and its other unique natural and cultural resource values.”
“With these lease sales we see Nevada’s public lands being systematically locked up for exclusive use by the oil and gas industry. For Nevadans, this could have enormous economic and social ramifications for the next 10, 20, or even 30 years.”
“Of course, we want to thank the Nevada delegation for the action they’ve already taken to address this important issue, and we’re supportive of Senator Cortez Matso’s Senate Bill S.258 which will protect the Ruby Mountains from runaway leasing. We’d also be very supportive of the state’s delegation advancing new Nevada centered legislation that prevents the giveaway of public lands, and instead invests in protecting national parks, conservation of public lands, and growing the outdoor recreation economy.”
Pam Harrington, Northern Nevada Field Coordinator, Trout Unlimited said:
“According to the BLM, nominations for oil and gas leasing are flooding into the office. Each of which must be evaluated by resource professionals, even when there is little potential for development. This wastes time and money.”
“Some of the areas that have been nominated by “expressions of interests” (EOI) are in extremely valuable wildlife corridors, over the top of aquifers that provide drinking water to entire towns, and adjacent to or straddling rivers and streams. Most of you know, Nevada is the driest state in the nation. We don’t have a lot of surface water and when we do have it it’s worth more than any marginal oil or gas reserves.”
Leaders in Washington can take action to ensure responsible public land management policies that provide a fair return for Nevada’s taxpayers, conserve fish and wildlife habitat, and support America’s public land heritage.
The full audio recording of today’s press call can be found here.
Please contact Abby Grehlinger to be connected with our speakers for interviews or for additional information.