The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has a “multiple use mandate” for public lands, balancing the resources and uses of public lands in combinations that best meet the needs of the people. However, 90 percent of our public lands and minerals are open to oil and gas leasing, interfering with those lands from being used for other purposes like recreation and wildlife. The number of acres offered for lease have increased 6-fold under the Trump Administration.
90 percent of BLM-managed lands and minerals have the potential to be offered for lease. Almost anything can go up for auction, including wilderness-quality land, wildlife habitat and lands close to national parks.
What’s at stake
Leasing public lands for oil and gas development means that other uses of the lands can be permanently lost. The BLM is charged with a “multiple use mandate” for our public lands, meaning that recreation, wildlife, cultural heritage, and other valuable resources must be balanced with energy development.
Once land has been leased, the subsequent oil and gas development raises public lands contribution of greenhouse gas emissions.
What can we do?
We can hold the BLM accountable for its oil and gas leasing decisions by protesting inappropriate leasing in sensitive areas that are Too Wild to Drill. Public comments on public land leasing notices are one way to make your voice heard.
Millions of acres of our public land are currently leased for oil and gas drilling. Yet even though companies are only using half of the land they have leased, they want to lock up even more. The HOARD Act stops oil and gas companies from hoarding more land when they have unused permits. This stops the stockpiling of land and ensures land can be used for the public’s benefit, including recreation and for preservation of wildlife and cultural resources.
Social posts show your representatives what is top of mind for constituents. Make posts personal and pointed, tag your representatives and include #toowildtodrill to build a broader groundswell of buzz. On Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/townhall and turn your Constituent Badge on.