Interior rolls back oil drilling policies for federal land

February 2, 2018

The Interior Department implemented a new policy Thursday aimed at streamlining the oil and natural gas drilling process on federal land by cutting back on the opportunities for drilling opponents to slow down the process.

A memo signed Wednesday and released Thursday by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) states that it is the agency’s policy to “simplify and streamline the leasing process to alleviate unnecessary impediments and burdens, to expedite the offering of lands for lease,” and to ensure drilling rights sales happen regularly.

The changes include setting a 60-day deadline for processing proposed lease sales, leaving public participation in certain reviews up to low-level officials, limiting protest periods for sales to 10 days and repealing an Obama administration policy that let other land users, like hunters and anglers, object.

The memo is part of a wide-ranging plan at Interior and elsewhere to tear down barriers to domestic production of oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels.

Conservationists slammed the policy change, calling it a threat to the environment and...

See the entire article at The Hill.

 

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