Yazmyn Pelaez

Nevada Conservation League Applauds New BLM Rule on Oil and Gas Leasing Reform

LAS VEGAS, NV — Today, the Nevada Conservation League celebrates the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) new rule on oil and gas leasing, marking a significant step forward in ensuring fair returns and environmental protection for Nevadans. This pivotal rule addresses long-standing issues in the federal oil and gas leasing program and introduces key fiscal and environmental reforms that will benefit Nevada’s economy and natural resources.

The new rule implements crucial fiscal reforms mandated by Congress under the Inflation Reduction Act, ensuring that oil and gas companies pay their fair share for the development of publicly owned resources. Additionally, it introduces necessary measures to address the pressing issue of orphaned wells, which have imposed substantial financial liabilities on taxpayers.

The reforms also aim to deprioritize lands with low oil and gas potential, which historically led to non-productive leases while preventing other uses such as wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation. Over the past decade, inadequate leasing terms have cost Nevada and other Western states billions in lost revenue — specifically, Nevada was deprived of $34 million between FY13-FY22 due to these outdated policies.

“We are thankful the Bureau of Land Management took an important step today to prioritize Nevada communities and their needs,” said Kristee Watson, Executive Director of the Nevada Conservation League. ”The oil and gas rule has vast support from Nevadans because it protects irreplaceable landscapes and ecosystems from speculative, out-of-state companies. We’re also thankful for Nevada senators’ roles in facilitating these long-needed reforms. Senator Rosen’s language in the Inflation Reduction Act and Senator Cortez Masto’s proposals to protect low-potential lands have been essential in shaping a rule that more accurately reflects the needs and values of Nevadans. Under today’s reforms, Nevada’s public lands will be better managed for economic drivers such as hunting, fishing, tourism, and outdoor recreation, not just oil and gas.”

As the rule enters into effect, the Nevada Conservation League will continue its advocacy to ensure that the BLM implements these changes swiftly and effectively, providing the oversight necessary to prevent any dilution of these reforms through congressional opposition or administrative delays.


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