Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administrators have drafted a “Priority Work List” that reveals BLM’s focus on oil, gas and coal development on federal land as well as the security of the U.S.-Mexico border. E&E News obtained the internal documents, which had not yet been shared with BLM staff.
The list was “assembled by the team at the BLM to clearly lay out our continued commitment to ensure opportunities for commercial, recreation and conservation activities on BLM-managed lands,” BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall told E&E News.
In the first of five subsections, “Making America Safe through Energy Independence,” the following are identified as key components of “BLM Priority Work”:
- Make additional lands available for “all of the above” energy development
- Address backlog of Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) and Expressions of Interest (EOIs)
- Streamline Federal coal leasing and permitting, and address backlog
- Streamline oil and gas leasing and permitting
- Streamline rights-of-way processing for pipelines, transmission lines and solar/wind projectsStreamline leasing and permitting for hardrock mining
A draft BLM “Key Messages Strategy” also shared by E&E News explains, “all of the above” energy development “includes oil and gas, coal, and renewable sources such as wind and solar – all of which can be developed on public lands.” The Key Messages Strategy outlines communication policies and strategies for BLM officials.
The concentration on fossil fuel development is in line with President Trump’s March executive order titled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” which revoked many U.S. climate and environment regulations. In tandem, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s order ending the Obama era moratorium on federal coal leases opened the door for previously halted strip mining projects.
Climate change is not mentioned in the …read more