Hatch, Lee object to BLM taking 100,000 acres of land off energy lease auction table

WASHINGTON D.C.  – Friday, Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee responded to the announcement by the Bureau of Land Management that it will be deferring nearly 100,000 acres from the proposed oil and gas lease auction on Tuesday.

The BLM announcement that it will reduce the land available at auction by nearly 70 percent comes just days before the sale was scheduled. Once again, a statement issued by Lee’s office states, this proves the administration’s repeated promises of transparency and open communication are empty.

Hatch said:

This misguided announcement by the Bureau of Land Management to defer the leasing of 100,000 acres for energy production because of pressure from environmental elites ironically comes on the heels of news last month that the United States produced more oil than it imported. The fact that our nation is a global leader in energy production seems lost on the president and his administration who’s doing everything to stop that from happening. This hurts American jobs and American energy independence and must stop.

Lee said:

At a time when the state of Utah, local counties, and Utah’s federal delegation are participating in a large scale initiative to resolve many long-standing public land issues, this last-minute bait and switch only reinforces the widespread belief that, under this administration, BLM is becoming a vehicle for policies created by radical environmentalists. This bureaucratic maneuvering does more than hurt the companies that were ready, willing, and able to participate in Tuesday’s auction. It discourages companies from participating in future auctions, and perhaps ever investing in states that are dominated by federal land ownership. The cumulative impact of this and other similar actions serves to drive investment away from the families and communities that live near lands managed by the federal government. In order to thrive, these communities need a good faith partner in the BLM.

Submitted by the office of Sen. Mike Lee

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7 Comments

  • Sagemoon November 18, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Woo hoo!!! Go BLM! I am not “radical” but I do believe in saving public lands for PUBLIC use. I like that the BLM listened to people since our policitians are only guided by their party’s agendas.

    • Aussie November 18, 2013 at 9:51 am

      then the public should pay as much to use it as the mineral companies do

      • UtahCentrist November 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm

        Wait, what? If I go camping on BLM land for the weekend, all I take are pictures and leave only footprints, how is it that I should have to pay the same as a company who permanently scars the land by extracting resources for their own profit?

        I am not opposed to usage fees for BLM land, but that’s not what you said. Your comment is the height of nonsense.

        • weldon November 18, 2013 at 9:43 pm

          your little camping trip is HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED by the permit holders out there. Who do you think really covers BLM operations?
          .
          And it is a virtual certainty, in this day and age, that land impacts will be mitigated.
          .
          You are basically freeloading with your Muir ethos.

    • Dana November 18, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Amen to that. They are also driven by the Big $$$$ that’s putting them and KEEPING them in office.
      Instead of moaning about Public lands being set aside for the Public, they should be looking into alternative energy We have 300+ days of sunshine in S. Utah. Why aren’t we actively taking advantage of solar energy.
      Why aren’t we pursuing wind energy? Oh, that’s right. The BIG BUCK$ can’t be found in alternative energy.

  • LandLover November 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Good job BLM. I love Hatch’s comment that we produce more oil than we import if that is the case I thing the BLM made the right choice and we could revisit the lease option if needed in the future.

  • Hawk November 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Yet another reason neither should serve another term.

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