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Sample Letter: BLM Oil and Gas Rule

Sample Letter: BLM Oil and Gas Rule

This is a sample letter you can use to help form your own comments to the BLM on their proposed new Oil and Gas Rule (BLM-2023-0005-0001). Here are some questions to consider in your comments:

  • Are there BLM lands in your region or where you recreate where oil and gas leases would harm endangered or threatened species or fragile ecosystems?
  • Are there BLM lands in your region that contain historic or Indigenous sacred sites that would be endangered by oil and gas leasing?
  • Are there orphan wells on the public lands around your community? How has that impacted you?

The deadline to submit comments is September 22! Please remember to customize your comments to include your own stories, experiences, and thoughts on the proposed rule!

Thank you for creating a new proposed rule (“Fluid Mineral Leases and Leasing Process” BLM-2023-0005-0001) to move forward with reforming and updating our deeply antiquated and broken oil and gas leasing process.

I’m relieved that the DOI has finally taken action and proposed a suite of improvements to the federal oil and gas leasing program that both implement and build upon the changes to the program that Congress secured last year. These common-sense reforms are necessary to save taxpayers money, and promote better management of our lands for conservation and wildlife.

Our public lands are vital to the health of our communities, especially now as we face the harsh realities of a changing climate. But for too long, we’ve watched as the oil and gas industry has benefited from a broken federal oil and gas leasing program that has remained stuck in the past while taxpayers, communities and wildlife pay a hefty price. It is astounding that the Department of Interior is spending $250 million in taxpayer funds to clean up orphaned wells on federal public lands—while the extractive industries make record profits.

Over 90% of BLM lands across the West are currently open for oil and gas leasing, yet only 23% of those BLM lands have any potential for even moderate oil and gas production. It’s time to stop this speculative leasing and focus on preserving the benefits undeveloped lands provide such as clean water, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration.

I’m counting on the Biden administration to move with urgency to finalize these common-sense reforms as soon as possible. We cannot afford to lose any more of our taxpayer dollars or public lands to a broken program that for decades has prioritized oil and gas leasing and drilling above all of the other critical values of our landscapes.

Thank you again for your commitment to protecting and conserving our public lands and waters for the benefit of all.