BLM: Weigh in by July 1 on September oil, gas lease sale

In keeping with the Trump Administration’s goal of promoting American energy security, the Bureau of Land Management proposes to offer 149 parcels, totaling nearly 183,668 acres in Utah on lands managed by the Canyon Country, Color Country, Green River and West Desert districts at the Sept. 10 quarterly oil and gas lease sale. This notice initiates a public comment period on the associated environmental documents that ends on July 1, 2019. The BLM will hold the lease sale online at www.energynet.com.

“We encourage public involvement early in this review process; it is an integral part of our evaluation of the proposed lease parcels,” said Kent Hoffman, deputy state director for Lands and Minerals. “Comments should identify issues and concerns specific to the parcels being considered.”

This sale includes 45 parcels removed from the March 2019 quarterly lease sale. The BLM removed 26 parcels in order to comply with a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho in W. Watersheds Project v. BLM, which requires lengthier comment periods on environmental compliance documents associated with parcels that intersect Priority or General Habitat Management Areas for Greater Sage-Grouse. The BLM also decided to conduct additional reviews of the environmental analysis for 19 parcels in San Juan County and moved them from the March to the September lease sale.

The BLM generated a record $1.1 billion from 28 oil and gas lease sales in Fiscal Year 2018. The oil and gas industry on public lands in Utah contributed $2.6 billion in total economic output and jobs for FY 2017. Revenues from onshore oil and gas production on federal lands directly fund the U.S. Treasury, state budgets and support public education, infrastructure improvements, and other state-determined priorities.

Background

By statute, the BLM is required to offer quarterly oil and gas lease sales of available federal lands. BLM state offices conduct lease sales quarterly when parcels are available for lease. These lease sales represent parcels that cleared environmental review and public comment. The BLM issues both competitive and non-competitive leases for a 10-year period. The leases are a contract to explore and develop any potential oil and gas. The leases might earn an extension if the lessee establishes production; otherwise they pay annual rentals.

Public comments

Comments on the environmental documents must be submitted electronically via the BLM Land Use Planning and NEPA Register (ePlanning) at https://bit.ly/2Z5PlYd. Comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. on July 1. Any comments received by other methods will not be accepted. Links to the environmental documents, lists and maps of the parcels, and attached stipulations are online at https://bit.ly/2Z5PlYd.