DENVER – Western Energy Alliance today denounced the Department of the Interior’s intention to slow walk onshore lease sales. The Department clearly states in the brief that no sales will be held in 2021. It will only manage to publish a sales notice sometime in December, meaning sales cannot take place until January or February. The Mineral Leasing Act requires quarterly sales. The following is a statement by Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma:
“Announcing yet more analysis of lease parcels without scheduling the actual sales this year complies with neither the letter of the law nor the spirit of the judge’s order overturning the leasing ban. The environmental analysis was already completed for parcels that were ready to go to auction at the beginning of the year before the unlawful leasing ban was announced. There is no need to redo that analysis.
“The Bureau of Land Management should simply move forward with the parcels originally slated for lease in the first half of the year in all oil and natural gas states. BLM shouldn’t be doing additional scoping and analysis, which are just stalling tactics. The parcels originally slated for the 2021 first and second quarter sales are scoped and ready to put on the calendar. The brief filed today with the court appears to show progress, but the slow walk indicates one step forward and three steps back.”
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