Response to Interior’s Announcement on Program to Accelerate Permits and Leasing on Federal Lands

April 3, 2012

(DENVER) – Western Energy Alliance is pleased that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking such positive steps to streamline and automate its leasing and permitting processes.


"BLM's plans to make leasing and permitting data readily available and to reduce permitting times from 298 days to 60 days are extremely welcomed by western producers searching for more certainty on federal lands," said Kathleen Sgamma, Vice President of Government & Public Affairs. "Western Energy Alliance, as the leading organization representing oil and gas producers on public lands, would like to offer its assistance to BLM as it designs, builds and tests the new systems."


"Automation and transparency are key components to comprehensively reform the leasing and permitting processes. We're glad that BLM is taking such positive steps to decrease regulatory times lines, which for many years have created such uncertainty for companies trying to produce American energy from federal lands and create jobs. We will work with BLM to ensure meaningful reforms are also implemented for the environmental analysis process, which is the third major process that needs to be addressed to fully provide certainty and enable increased federal energy production," concluded Sgamma.


Today's announcement by BLM includes a key policy recommendation outlined in Western Energy Alliance's Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity which includes actions that must be taken if America is to realize the full benefit of western energy. Among the study's key findings are five budget-neutral policy recommendations the President should consider:

  1. Comprehensive reform of the entire federal onshore process, including leasing, project environmental analysis, and permitting
  2. Moratorium on new and expanded layers of federal regulation
  3. Limits to litigation that unreasonably obstruct domestic energy production and economic growth
  4. Changes to renewable portfolio standards to allow natural gas to compete for electricity generation capacity on the basis of fuel-neutral performance criteria such as cost and emissions profile
  5. Market-based policies that are fuel and technology neutral to remove barriers preventing natural gas from fully competing as a transportation fuel.

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About Western Energy Alliance
Western Energy Alliance, founded in 1974 as the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States, is a non-profit trade association representing 400 companies engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West. More information on Western Energy Alliance and its members is available at www.westernenergyalliance.org.