DENVER – Western Energy Alliance released reaction to today’s announcement by the Department of the Interior intended to ban oil and natural gas leasing and permitting on federal lands for 60 days. The following quote is attributable to Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma:
“Today’s announcement is intended as a temporary ban on leasing and permitting, but is also a precursor to a longer-term ban. The Acting Secretary recognizes the limits of his authority, and in actuality, the order has simply taken away the authority to lease and permit from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and put it on himself. The requirements to hold quarterly lease sales and process permits remain a mandate in law, and cannot just be put aside with the stroke of a pen. We fully expect the Acting Secretary will indeed not fulfill his duties under the Mineral Leasing Act and the Energy Policy Act, and are prepared to challenge this intended ban in court at the appropriate time.
“Unfortunately, oil and natural gas development in most of the West is virtually impossible without touching some federal land and minerals, no matter how hard a company tries. A ban on leasing and permitting is a death sentence to the industry in the West. If Pres. Biden makes good on his promised ban, he’ll sacrifice the jobs of 72,000 westerners, $44 billion in GDP, and over $5 billion in conservation funding in his first term alone.”
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Western Energy Alliance represents 200 companies engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West. Alliance members are independents, the majority of which are small businesses with an average of fourteen employees. Learn more at www.WesternEnergyAlliance.org.