Release Date: April 18, 2022
Coalition Statement Following Lease Sales Announcement
Last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that it will institute new reforms for its onshore oil and gas leasing program. DOI also announced that, as mandated by court order, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will resume onshore oil and gas lease sales and will issue final sale notices today, Monday, April 18, 2022.
Michael Murray, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, issued the following statement:
“Our nation’s broken oil and gas leasing system has harmed our national parks, public lands, waters, wildlife, and climate for too long. It is a positive step that DOI will institute some reforms that will better protect our parks and public lands and begin to address longstanding problems with the federal oil and gas leasing program.
We are pleased to see that BLM will make it a priority to avoid leasing areas with important wildlife habitat and migration corridors and sensitive cultural areas, and we applaud the decision to increase the federal onshore royalty rate to 18.75% to ensure a fair return for the American taxpayer.
While these new reforms to the onshore oil and gas leasing program are a positive step forward. there is still much work to be done to institutionalize meaningful reforms.
We must have clear policy changes in the form of a rulemaking that include – at a minimum – the critical steps taken today to avoid leasing in areas of low potential for oil development, sensitive cultural areas, important habitat, and migration corridors; require oil and gas companies to clean up after themselves; and increase outdated minimum bid and rental rates for oil and gas leases.
We must keep up the work to protect our parks and public lands.”
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