Salazar Brings Much Needed Reforms to Onshore Oil and Gas Industry
Last week, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced several reforms that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will undertake when it comes to leasing lands to the oil and gas industry. The Administration had given strong signals that they would be revamping the way business is done on our public lands so it is heartening to see this concrete step taken toward real change. The eight years under the Bush administration saw our western public lands revert to a veritable Wild West of industry development. Many of our country's most cherished environmental regulations to protect lands from such development were dismissed or disregarded while the BLM caved to the pressure of industry. Last week's announcement promises to restore the BLM's rightful place as a steward of our public lands. As Secretary Salazar said, "The previous Administration's 'anywhere, anyhow' policy on oil and gas development ran afoul of communities, carved up the landscape, and fueled costly conflicts that created uncertainty for investors and industry." Many of the reforms announced adhered to the recommendations made by a review team that Salazar mandated when he put the brakes last year on a large number of Utah leases pushed through during Bush's final days.
For more info about specific reforms check out the BLM's announcement.
Read the Sierra Club's press release.