Western Energy Alliance Comments on the Moab Master Leasing Plan
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance today submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on the Moab Master Leasing Plan (MLP). Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs, offered the following comment on the MLP:
“The MLP process, added by the Interior Department in 2010, is yet another round of NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) analysis layered on top of several others. It’s no wonder that energy production on federal lands lags far behind adjacent private and state lands.
“Those who advocate for restrictive MLPs would have you believe that development is unrestrained without MLPs. On the contrary, NEPA is conducted at multiple stages during 1) land use planning; 2) leasing; 3) exploration; 4) project-specific planning; and 5) permitting. At each stage, more restrictions are placed on development. About the only time restrictions are modified is when companies can show how similar protective measures tailored to actual conditions on the ground would result in the same or greater environmental benefit.
“Furthermore, for every action, companies must also comply with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Endangered Species Act, BLM onshore orders, state regulations, and many other regulations which ensure operations are protective of the environment.
“In reality, MLPs represent just another bite at the apple for both policymakers and anti-oil and natural gas groups to slow energy development and job creation. The Moab MLP violates BLM’s multiple-use mandate by seeking to remove hundreds of thousands of acres from responsible energy development.”
The Alliance's letter to BLM is available online.
# # #