Daily Sentinel: House-passed bill includes Boebert measures blocking BLM oil, gas reforms, local leasing plans
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed an appropriations bill that included amendments sought by U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert that would block the Bureau of Land Management from proceeding with reforms to its oil and gas leasing program and with revisions to the amount of acreage available for oil and gas leasing locally.
The BLM is seeking oil and gas program reforms that include imposing tougher bonding requirements for companies to help ensure the costs of plugging wells and reclaiming well sites are covered, and making higher lease production royalty rates permanent after Congress increased them for 10 years. Boebert also has introduced a separate bill seeking to force the BLM to withdraw the proposal, which she has said is further proof that President Biden “intends to dismantle American energy production.”
Meanwhile, the BLM also is proposing closing off nearly a million acres under the jurisdiction of its Grand Junction Field Office to future oil and gas leasing, along with 568,300 acres managed by the Colorado River Valley Field Office based in Silt. It is proposing those sharp reductions in acreage available for leasing under the resource management plans for the two offices after it revisited the management plans following legal challenges by environmental groups and a judge’s ruling in one of the cases.
“The BLM’s 1.6-million-acre land grab is yet another blatant overreach designed to dismantle the fossil fuel industry, increase gas prices, and force a green transition,” Boebert’s office said in its news release Friday.
Chelsie Miera, executive director of the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said in an email Friday, “Reliable and affordable energy should be a bipartisan effort and we are glad to see the Congresswoman’s efforts to secure that for the district and country. Western Colorado produces some of the cleanest molecules of energy and our natural gas resources provide great jobs, important revenue to our communities and ensure our energy independence for America. We hope to see this Congress continue this bipartisan work to push back on the Biden administration and to lower costs of energy and groceries for our families in western Colorado.”
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