FARMINGTON, NM -- Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held two public meetings regarding the withdrawal of 325,000 federal oil and natural gas acres within a ten-mile buffer of Chaco Culture National Historical National Park. Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma attended both sessions to provide support to the Navajo Nation’s proposed five-mile buffer, a better option that would balance the goals of greater protection of cultural resources while enabling Navajo mineral owners to develop their energy resources and support their families.
“The session was attended by many members of the Navajo Nation who live near Chaco park. They expressed grave concern that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s action to withdraw federal leases would impair their ability to develop the energy they own and provide for their families,” said Sgamma. “Despite the narrative from the department that only federal leases will be affected, companies are not able to develop isolated parcels of individual Navajo land adjacent to off-limits federal lands. The Navajo Nation Council has passed legislation to reduce the size of the ten-mile buffer to five-miles, a balanced compromise that respects the cultural ties of the distant Pueblo peoples while still protecting the livelihoods of local Navajos.”
DENVER – In response to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Saturday night filing asking the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to stay the decision overturning the arbitrary use of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), Western Energy Alliance today issued the below statement attributable to Alliance president Kathleen Sgamma. In its filing, DOJ states that “work surrounding public-facing rules, grants, leases, permits and other projects has been delayed or stopped altogether so that agencies can assess whether and how they can proceed.”
“The Biden Administration’s action takes burying controversial news when nobody’s watching to a whole new level: usually it’s a late Friday evening release, not a Saturday night. When a government tries to overstep its legal authority on multiple levels, it must engage in such desperate moves.
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance today criticized the Department of the Interior for extending the onshore leasing ban another quarter, as it missed the 45-day deadline to hold a sale in the first quarter of 2022. The missed deadline means continued defiance of a court order requiring the department to hold lease sales in accordance with the Mineral Leasing Act.
“Pres. Biden just told the American people he’ll work like the devil to lower prices at the gas pump. But the lack of progress on federal lease sales means he’s not trying very hard,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “The department continues to miss deadlines, drag its feet, and ignore a judge’s ruling to hold sales. The Biden Administration is intent on preventing American producers from developing the energy we have at home to meet our country’s needs and lower gas prices.”
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance submitted testimony for consideration by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks in conjunction with a hearing on the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). The Alliance submitted testimony as it is unlikely the USDA Forest Service and Department of the Interior witnesses will acknowledge that oil and natural gas almost exclusively provide the $2.8 billion authorized by GAOA for conservation and national parks infrastructure. Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma also points out how the outdoor industry uses national parks to market their products but does not likewise contribute to their conservation and upkeep.