Congressional Letter is a Deliberate Attempt to Undermine Common Sense Approach to Oil and Gas Management

Jul 12, 2011

Today, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) along with four other members of Congress submitted a letter attacking Master Leasing Plans (MLPs), a key oil and gas leasing reform issued by Sec. Ken Salazar in May 2010 to help reduce conflict and reach certainty on development of oil and gas – for the benefit of industry, job creation, and the many natural resources and uses of our public lands.

The following statement can be attributed to Nada Culver, Director of the The Wilderness Society’s BLM Action Center:

“This attack on master leasing plans is unfounded and undermines an important opportunity to move forward with both development and conservation on our public lands. The conservation community is committed to finding common sense solutions, including in cooperation with industry and all interested parties. The deliberate attempt to discredit master leasing plans is an unfortunate distraction from a real chance to make progress and is part of larger effort to return control of our national heritage to the oil and gas industry.

There are important issues to note:

  • Industry currently has millions of acres under lease and thousands of unused permits. Master leasing plans will not interfere with development of the many resources that the oil and gas industry has at its disposal.
  • Master leasing plans require input from all interested parties, so we can have a meaningful dialogue about if, where and how our public lands should be developed, and what other uses should be accommodated. MLPs will allow all stakeholders - the public, local elected, officials, industry, to take a closer look before we leap into leading potentially controversial areas.
  • The BLM is currently determining where solar energy will be focused on our public lands as well, so we can have a more thoughtful approach to all development on our public lands. This is the best way to really take into account the many values of our public lands and the people who care about them.”
Nada Culver
303-650-5818 x117