DENVER – Western Energy Alliance submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) responding to the proposed Fluid Mineral Leases and Leasing Process rule, which would increase costs on American energy development and production and further exacerbate energy inflation. The trade association’s public comment letter addresses economic harms that would be created by BLM going beyond what Congress passed last year in the Inflation Reduction Act (BLM), such as increasing bonding rates twenty-fold and further discouraging American oil and natural gas production.
“BLM is discouraging companies from wanting to develop federal oil and natural gas by pricing small businesses and entrepreneurs out of the market and increasing energy costs for Americans,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “We strongly recommend BLM stick to implementing IRA and remove provisions such as the bonding requirements that even Congress was not willing to pass. The Interior Department recently admitted that there are only 37 orphan wells on federal lands, a very small .04% of the 89,000 federal wells. These numbers clearly demonstrate that the proposed rule is an arbitrary and capricious solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Orphan wells are not the crisis BLM tries to make it out to be, as BLM and companies have reduced that number down from 296 in just five years. The agency’s approach is disingenuous and misleading.
“The proposed rule contains significant measures designed to impede, impair, and disincentivize oil and gas development on federal land. We urge BLM to reduce the scope of its rulemaking to just what’s required in IRA instead of this overreaching rule.,” concluded Sgamma.
For more information, please see the Alliance’s letter to BLM.
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