Washington, D.C. — Matt Lee-Ashley, Senior Fellow and Director of Public Lands at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s master leasing plan for Moab, which will help balance energy development, outdoor recreation, and conservation near Arches and Canyonlands national parks in Utah:
With this smart plan for recreation and energy development near Moab, we see the extraordinary progress that has been made since the Bush administration sold drilling leases on the doorstep of Arches and Canyonlands national parks eight years ago. For the first time, outdoor businesses and recreational users have been given equal footing in shaping the future of public lands. For the first time, the management of Moab’s slickrock canyons will fully account for the jobs and opportunities that flow from America’s outdoor economy.
There can now be no question about it: The Obama administration’s reforms to oil and gas leasing on public lands are a grand slam success. Although the federal oil and gas program still needs more work, master leasing plans are delivering more certainty for industry, fewer lawsuits and protests, more public involvement, and better decisions about where—and where not—to drill.
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