Congress shuts public out of public lands decisions

Mar 7, 2017

Repealing Planning 2.0 would make it easier to drill for oil and gas on public lands. 

David Kingham
BLM’s Planning 2.0 has been repealed in a win for the oil and gas industry

Despite opposition from all over the country, the Senate voted to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s Planning 2.0 rule, which sought to give a wider range of voices the opportunity to weigh in on how public lands should be used and developed for decades to come. To repeal the rule, the Senate used an obscure procedure known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA). This is the first time the CRA has been used to rollback a public lands policy.

This vote comes about a month after the House voted to strike down the rule that ensured all the users of public lands have equal say in how they are managed.

The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from President Jamie Williams: 

“First and foremost, public lands belong to all Americans, not the oil and gas industry.  Congress is bent on using its power to permanently impede public input on where and how often we drill on our public lands.

“If Congress felt that BLM’s rule needed more work, it should have let the agency continue to fine-tune it, not completely nullify it. This rule was grounded in one of the cornerstones of American democracy, namely, that people most affected by public policy decisions deserve to have a voice. 

“Making it easier to drill and mine is unbalanced and shortsighted. We expect more from our elected leaders and will continue to hold Congress accountable for attacking reasonable public lands safeguards.” 

Contacts:

Phil Hanceford, Assistant Director, BLM Action Center, 303-225-4636, phanceford@tws.org

Anastasia Greene, Communications Specialist, 540-207-3162, agreene@tws.org