U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
|Release Date: 05/23/12|
BLM Releases Environmental Assessment for November Oil and Gas Lease Sale (05-23-12)
CAÑON CITY, Colo. – The BLM Royal Gorge Field Office today released a preliminary environmental assessment analyzing the proposed sale of oil and gas leases on 48 parcels totaling 21,088 acres of public mineral estate in Elbert, Morgan, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Prowers, and Yuma counties.
The EA analyzes whether these parcels will be offered for competitive leasing to allow exploration and development of federal oil and gas resources. There are three alternatives analyzed within the EA including offering all of the nominated parcels for sale, offering a subset of the parcels for sale or not offering any parcels.
In order for a parcel to be offered in a lease sale, it is typically nominated by industry.
“This environmental assessment is not opening new lands to oil and gas leasing, but is evaluating new leasing requests for lands already open to leasing,” said Keith Berger, BLM Royal Gorge Field Manager. “We encourage the public to review the environmental assessment and provide us with comments on the parcels being offered.”
The EA is available online at www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/oilandgas/oil_and_gas_lease/2012/november_8__2012_lease.html and at the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, 3028 East Main, Cañon City, Colo.
The State of Colorado receives 49 percent of the proceeds of each lease sale. In Fiscal Year 2011, Colorado received more than $154 million from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for all federal minerals, including oil and gas. Statewide, there are more than 22,900 jobs tied to mineral and energy development on public lands.
Written comments must be received by June 22, and may be submitted via e-mail to BLM_CO_RG_Comments@blm.gov or by mail to BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, 3028 East Main, Cañon City, Colorado, 81212. The most effective comments refer to a specific parcel and its associated resources.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
A list of parcels and the attached stipulations can be found online at: www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/oilandgas/oil_and_gas_lease/2012/november_8__2012_lease/november_2012_lease.html
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FACT SHEET: Environmental Assessment for the November Oil and Gas Lease Sale
Why is BLM offering parcels for oil and gas leasing?
The BLM is a multiple use agency. This means that in addition to managing for recreation and livestock grazing, we also have to consider developing mineral resources such as oil and gas. Each BLM field office manages all resources under a resource management plan (RMP). The RMP outlines management decisions for the office such as allocating lands that are available for oil and gas leasing, and what restrictions will be placed on leases to protect sensitive resources.
Regardless of the type of use, the BLM analyzes impacts to resources according to the National Environmental Policy Act.
Why is the BLM conducting an Environmental Assessment for this oil and gas lease sale?
The lease sale EA provides the BLM another opportunity for a hard look at the resources that may be affected on the ground today. This EA gives the public and the BLM a way to see if conditions have changed since the area was identified for oil and gas development in the Field Office’s resource management plan.
Will the leases analyzed in the Environmental Assessment be developed?
Not necessarily. Although a lease gives the lease holder the right to explore and develop the parcel’s minerals, the decision made through this preliminary EA is only to offer specific parcels for sale. Many parcels that are sold at a lease sale are never developed.
Once a parcel is sold, an application permit to drill (APD) must be submitted before any development can occur. When, and if, an APD is submitted, the BLM will conduct further environmental reviews to study the lease holder’s plans for developing the lease.
How can I provide effective comments?
The most effective comments are specific. If you decide to comment on this preliminary EA, consider referring to specific parcels and the associated resources on those parcels.
How do I provide my comments?
Written comments may be submitted via e-mail to BLM_CO_RG_Comments@blm.gov or by mail to BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, 3028 East Main, Cañon City, Colorado, 81212. Comments must be received by June 22.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the States where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.
3028 East Main Street Canon City, CO 81212
|Last updated: 05-23-2012|
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