The Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday, Dec. 3, announced a proposal to offer 25 parcels, totaling approximately 32,713.76 acres of BLM-managed lands in the Green River District for the March 10 quarterly oil and gas lease sale. This notice initiates a 30-day public comment period on the associated environmental documents ending on Jan. 3, 2020, according to the BLM.
This online lease sale will be held at www.energynet.com and is in keeping with the Trump administration’s goal of promoting American energy independence, said the BLM’s Utah office.
“Public involvement is an important part of the evaluation process for parcels proposed for lease,” said Deputy State Director for Lands and Minerals Kent Hoffman. “Substantive comments specific to the parcels being offered are encouraged. These comments should provide information that can be incorporated into the analysis.”
Responsible energy development includes thoughtful consideration of parcels nominated for leasing, as well as any potential resource impacts of land developed. After acquiring a lease, leaseholders must complete an application for permit to drill, which includes additional environmental review, public involvement, and site-specific conditions of approval prior to on-the-ground disturbance, said the BLM.
Revenues from oil and gas production on federal lands directly fund the U.S. Treasury and states. States often use these funds to support public education and infrastructure improvements. 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 fiscal year 2017. The State of Utah receives 48 percent of lease sale revenue generated on public lands in the state and 50 percent of royalty revenue if energy development occurs, according to the BLM.
As per the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987, the BLM offers quarterly oil and gas lease sales of available nominated parcels on federal lands. Leases are a contract to explore and potentially develop oil and gas on the public lands. Prior to leasing, the BLM conducts a rigorous environmental review and provides the opportunity for public participation, according to the BLM.
Comments on the 25 parcels proposed to be included in the March 2020 sale must be received by Jan. 3 via the BLM’s Land Use Planning and National Environmental Protection Act Register (ePlanning) at bit.ly/2mrN1vW. Links to the environmental documents, lists and maps of the parcels, and attached stipulations are online at bit.ly/2mrN1vW.
Prior to including any personally identifying information, commenters should be aware that, in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, their entire comment may be made publicly available.