July 3, 2023

Greg Sheehan
State Director
Bureau of Land Management, Utah Project

Nathan Packer
Natural Resources Specialist
Bureau of Land Management

Angela Wadman
Physical Science Tech
Bureau of Land Management

Tylia Varilek
O&G Leasing Team Archaeologist
Bureau of Land Management

Re: Comments on the 2023 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah Fourth Quarter Oil and Gas Competitive Lease Sale Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (DOI-BLM-UT- 0000-2023-0003-EA)

Dear State Director Sheehan:

On behalf of our organizations, members, and supporters, we thank you for accepting and fully considering these comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (Draft FONSI) for the Bureau of Land Management Utah 2023 Fourth Quarter Oil and Gas Lease Sale. Our organizations and members are deeply invested in sound stewardship of our public lands and committed to ensuring that they equitably benefit all people, address environmental justice, protect biodiversity, and serve as a solution to – not a cause of – climate disruption.

We appreciate inclusion of Alternative B in the Draft EA for this lease sale. However, for the reasons explained in this comment and in our scoping comments, we respectfully request and strongly urge deferring many of the remaining parcels. Instruction Memorandum (IM) 2023-007, the Federal Land Management Policy Act (FLPMA), and analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) counsel additional deferrals.

As we did in our scoping comments, we continue to strongly urge the Department of the Interior Department (DOI or Interior Department or Interior) to begin both seriously addressing the structural deficiencies that it has identified in its Report on the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program and durably implementing the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA’s) requisite leasing program reforms through the fossil fuel rulemaking process.

Click here to read the complete submission.