The Bureau of Land Management seeks comments on 21 parcels offered in December oil and gas lease sale
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — As part of the Trump Administration’s commitment to responsibly developing our energy resources, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to offer 21 parcels, totaling approximately 23,649 acres at the December competitive oil and gas lease sale. The parcels are located in Iron, Uintah, and Grand counties on public lands managed by the BLM’s Cedar City, Vernal, and Moab Field Offices. The BLM has initiated a 15-day public comment period on the environmental assessment that ends on Sept. 4, 2020.
Responsible energy development includes thoughtful consideration of parcels nominated for leasing as well as the potential resource impacts of decisions to lease. The act of leasing does not authorize any development or use of the surface of leased lands without further application by the operator and approval by the BLM. An additional environmental review will take place at the Application for Permit to Drill stage, where site specific Conditions of Approval will be placed on the permit in addition to the lease stipulations.
To ensure that comments apply to the parcels actually proposed for a lease sale, the BLM encourages the public to submit comments during the official public comment period, which is now open for this environmental assessment. The BLM does not analyze comments that are not specific to parcels identified in the EA because they are outside the scope of the proposed action.
The public may view the environmental documents, lists and maps of the parcels, and attached stipulations on the BLM Land Use Planning and NEPA Register (ePlanning) at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2001127/510. Public comments on the environmental documents must be submitted electronically via the ePlanning webpage and comments must be received by Sept. 4, 2020.
The BLM’s lease sales represent parcels that cleared environmental review and public comment. The BLM issues both competitive and non-competitive leases for a 10-year period. The leases are a contract to explore and develop any potential oil and gas. The lease may be extended if the production is established on the lease, otherwise the lease will expire after the primary term of 10 years.
The BLM generated a record $1.1 billion from 28 oil and gas lease sales in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The oil and gas industry on public lands in Utah contributed $2.5 billion in total economic output and jobs for FY 2018. Revenues from onshore oil and gas production on federal lands directly fund the U.S. Treasury, state budgets and support public education, infrastructure improvements, and other state-determined priorities.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.