Modernizing the Oil & Gas Leasing System Will Benefit Wildlife, Public Lands, All Americans

DENVER, COLO. — The Biden administration’s announced framework for reviewing the antiquated federal oil and gas leasing system is an important step toward improving the stewardship of our nation’s public lands and waters, instituting long overdue fiscal reforms, and ensuring a just and equitable transition to a clean energy future.

“Our public lands provide crucial wildlife habitat and vast outdoor recreation opportunities, but these lands have been under threat from a broken system that gives outsized priority to energy development.  It is time to have oil and gas companies pay their fair share, to better inform the American public about potential hazards to clean air and water from drilling, and to bring balance back to public lands management,” said Mary Greene, public lands attorney at the National Wildlife Federation. “We applaud the administration for undertaking a thorough review of this system so that all Americans will benefit as we transition to a clean energy future where our public lands can flourish.”  

The Department of Interior announced it will convene a forum on March 25th to hear from industry representatives, labor and environmental organizations, natural resource advocates and other experts about recommendations to modernize energy leasing and development on public lands. Fossil fuel extraction on public lands accounts for nearly a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The agency will also seek input from members of Congress, governors, Tribes, and other state and local officials. Members of the public will also be encouraged to submit written comments. An interim report with recommendations is expected to be released this summer.


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