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.
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.
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