Washington, D.C. — Today, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced a bill to terminate the noncompetitive oil and gas leasing program at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The little-known program lets companies stockpile public land at rock-bottom prices—often without public scrutiny. A report last year from the Center for American Progress found that nearly one-quarter of all acres leased by the BLM in the past 10 years for oil and gas drilling has been through the noncompetitive leasing process, but the leases generate little revenue and rarely end up in production. In response, Kate Kelly, director of Public Lands at CAP, issued the following statement:
There is absolutely no good reason to keep this wasteful and unnecessary oil and gas leasing program. Handing out oil and gas leases for pennies on the dollar drains limited agency resources and allows oil speculators and wildcatters to stockpile public lands. Sen. Tester’s bill would end this opaque, antiquated leasing program that shortchanges taxpayers and allows companies to game the system.
“Backroom Deals: The Hidden World of Noncompetitive Oil and Gas Leasing” by Kate Kelly, Jenny Rowland-Shea, and Nicole Gentile.
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