Bureau of Land Management
National Energy Policy
On May 6, 2001, The President issued his National Energy Policy. Since
then, the Bureau of Land Management has been working on a plan to implement
the Presidential directives. Over 20 of the recommendations within the
National Energy Policy were identified as specifically affecting one or
more of the Bureau's energy-related responsibilities. The Bureau identified
54 short- and long-term action items that will enable it to successfully
implement the President's policy using innovation and new technologies,
programs that protect the environment and ways to expand and diversify
our energy resources. In implementing these action items, the Bureau will
work closely with other federal agencies, state and tribal governments,
local communities, industry and citizens of the U.S. to develop dependable,
affordable and environmentally sound energy from the public lands.
The following is a list of the action items (tasks) that the Bureau
is currently in the process of developing for use in the implementation
of the National Energy Policy:
OIL AND GAS RESOURCES
- BLM will expedite completion of the ongoing Energy Policy Conservation
Act (EPCA) study of impediments to federal oil and gas exploration and
- BLM will, based on the results of the EPCA evaluation, review lands
status and lease stipulations. All changes will be considered with full
public consultation through the land use planning process, especially
with the people in the region.
- BLM will evaluate royalty rate reductions and other incentives for
enhanced recovery and extension of field life consistent with the receipt
of fair market value. Where such steps require legislation, BLM will
draft legislation proposals.
- BLM will explore other regulation and policy changes relative to liability
and reclamation, including the lease assignment approval policy and
process, and the orphan well policy relating to legacy wells. It will
also consider a single bond and common stipulations for both lease and
related off-lease facilities and roads.
- BLM will identify ways to expedite the process of approving Applications
for Permits to Drill.
- BLM will complete unitization, suspension, and extension regulations
for National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
- BLM will conduct biennial leasing in the northeast sector of NPR-A
starting in 2002.
- BLM will prepare to hold lease sales in other NPR-A sectors, with
the first sale scheduled for 2004.
- BLM will work with the USGS on updating the undiscovered oil and gas
resource estimates for the NPR-A.
- BLM will initiate environmental analyses for full field development
within NPR-A by 2003.
- BLM will continue ongoing operations associated with existing leases
(Applications for Permits to Drill, Inspection and Enforcement, and
National Environmental Policy Act) within the NPR-A area.
- BLM, should Congress so authorize, will evaluate and determine the
necessary steps for an environmentally sound leasing and development
program in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
- BLM will institute environmental and planning studies, if funding
is available, for implementation of a best-practices leasing and development
- BLM will complete the re-permitting of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System
- BLM will expeditiously review the application(s) anticipated for the
North Slope natural gas pipeline(s). As a part of this effort, BLM will
coordinate activities with the State of Alaska and the Canadian government.
- BLM will review its policies, practices, regulations and statutes
to identify opportunities to expand the scope of existing coal and coal
bed methane conflict policy to new and readjusted coal and oil and gas
leases with the intent of adopting a uniform policy for revising or
rewriting existing regulations, and/or developing legislation, as needed.
- BLM will enhance inspection and enforcement capabilities to ensure
that inspections are completed and lessee/operators are notified of
corrective action requirements in a timely manner to ensure that the
public resources are protected.
- BLM will issue a Final Rule for amending current regulations concerning
approval of rights-of-way for pipelines of 24 inches or more in diameter.
- BLM will facilitate and promote the development of tar sands on federal
- BLM will facilitate the development of oil shale resources by making
Federal lands available for leasing.
- BLM will develop procedures for cooperative mitigation of environmental
degradation resulting from energy exploration and development.
- BLM will revise Onshore Order No. 1.
- BLM will revise the “Gold Book.”
- BLM will identify methods to expedite the processing of pending geothermal
- BLM will revise the Categorical Exclusion list to include geothermal
resources and examine opportunities that could be added to the geothermal
- BLM will contract for a geothermal literature search and an identification
of constraints to access.
- BLM will evaluate the availability of, and limitations on, use and
access to public lands in order to increase renewable energy production,
such as biomass, water, wind and solar energy.
- BLM will, for each hydropower licensing project, appoint a Project
Manager and assemble a team of resource specialists to identify impacts,
mitigation opportunities, and annual budget needs; identify hydropower
projects within all Resource Management Plans; and work with other agencies
to streamline and improve the application process.
- BLM will inventory and prioritize energy-related right-of-way applications.
- BLM will develop policy for encouraging the development of wind power
on public lands.
- BLM will improve our ability to meet the demand for federal coal sales
through the Lease by Application Process. This will include a review
of current Lease by Application Process to streamline procedures and
reduce processing time.
- BLM will develop policy to encourage recovery of abandoned coal refuse
with uncertain federal title.
- BLM will inventory and prioritize energy-related right-of-way applications.
- BLM will initiate coordinated, inter-governmental, interagency, Right-of-Way
corridor planning efforts (including coordination with BLM land use
planning for public lands efforts) in partnership with industry and
public interest groups.
- BLM will expand its existing Right-Of -Way Project Manager Pilot Project
(assigning ROW specialists to major and complex right-of-way applications
on a bureau-wide basis) to include other federal and state agencies.
- BLM will work with all federal agencies that have responsibility for
the review and analysis of energy-related right-of-way applications
to expedite the process.
- BLM will initiate an internal review with all agencies of administrative
processes for reviewing and granting right-of-way applications and remove
or reduce impediments to timely decision-making.
- BLM will increase the availability of existing right-way-way training
courses and work towards wider participation in such courses by appropriate
federal and industry staff involved in right-of -way applications.
- BLM will finalize and publish BLM and USFS 1999 proposed right-of
-way cost recovery regulations to increase cost recovery revenue.
- BLM will develop a legislative proposal for Administration consideration
to allow federal agencies to retain a portion of rental receipts (rather
than returning receipts to the U.S. Treasury) paid by holders of right-of-way
for use on federal lands.
- BLM will establish an internal mechanism with staff capability to
coordinate bureau efforts and obligations associated with the implementation
of energy-related programs and projects.
- BLM will form a Land Use Management Team to coordinate and facilitate
efforts of BLM and USFS.
- BLM will issue guidance to ensure meaningful consultation with federally
recognized tribal governments when assisting in the development of tribal
energy resources; when implementing energy tasks which might affect
trust resources and treaty rights; when energy tasks might affect areas
on public land of concern to tribal communities; or when developing
energy related regulatory policies on matters that significantly or
uniquely affect tribal communities.
- BLM will explore the use of natural gas and alternative fuels for
use in the Bureau fleet and facilities.
- BLM will facilitate the speeding up of the permitting process electronically