New Mexico Leads 4th Quarter BLM Quarterly Lease Sales, Total 2017 Sales In West Approach $350 Million

by Michael Sandoval December 13, 2017


New Mexico’s fourth quarter Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sale drew more than $30 million in competitive bids for more than 2,100 acres across the state’s southeastern Permian Basin. The BLM New Mexico office received $30,357,505 for 7 parcels totaling 2,104 acres for the December 7 lease sale. The state’s federal quarterly lease sales have yielded $167,639,147 in bids in 2017. Wyoming has drawn $170,383,683 in bids over its first three quarterly sales, with its final offering later this week. States receive roughly half of the BLM proceeds, splitting the revenue with the federal government.

Oregon Officials Blast Merkley’s Opposition To Jordan Cove Approval

by Michael Sandoval December 12, 2017

Sen. Jeff Merkley/Facebook

A local coalition of supporters from across the political spectrum in Oregon blasted Sen. Jeff Merkley’s change of heart on the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in a series of statements and op-eds released late last week. The Oregon Democrat reversed his position on the Jordan Cove Energy Project last week in a letter to the Medford Mail Tribune. Merkley is Oregon’s only congressional member opposed to the project.

Feds Urge Court To Dismiss ‘Children’s’ Lawsuit Backed By Deep-Pocketed Foundations

by Michael Sandoval December 11, 2017

Photo credit: Shutterstock

A test case for a national effort to bring so-called “children’s” lawsuits backed by deep-pocketed philanthropic foundations in more than a half dozen states reached federal court Monday. Underwritten by several foundations, including the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and with most of the 21 young people who filed the lawsuit in attendance, the plaintiffs argued for the case to move forward to trial.

Perlmutter, Polis Endorse BLM Relocation To West, Colorado

by Michael Sandoval December 8, 2017

Three Western Democrats have joined fifteen Republicans in co-sponsoring a House bill that would move the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management out of Washington, D.C. to one of twelve Western states. The bill calls for shifting the Department of the Interior agency to one of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming.

Wildlife Expert, Regulatory Consultant Call Audubon Society’s Use Of 2006 Study Outdated, Misleading

by Michael Sandoval December 7, 2017


A deeper dive into the Audubon Society’s assertions last month that an amendment introduced by a Wyoming lawmaker would give oil and gas producers a “free pass to kill birds with impunity” does not reflect industry practices or federal and state regulations, nor does it rely on the best and most recently available data, according to a wildlife scientist and an environmental consultant. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) introduced the amendment to the bipartisan SECURE Act that passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee in November. Cheney’s amendment clarified liability within the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).

House Committee To Explore Interior Department Reforms, Agency Relocation Proposals

by Michael Sandoval December 6, 2017

U.S. Department of the Interior

At a committee on Natural Resources oversight hearing tomorrow on “Transforming the Department of the Interior for the 21st Century,” House members will hear testimony calling for the relocation of Interior agencies to the West and other efforts to streamline the department, according to testimony obtained by Western Wire. Since Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced the idea earlier in the year and then legislation in May to move the offices of the Bureau of Land Management to a Western state, several key Democrats in Colorado have signaled bipartisan support for such a move. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), introduced the House version of the bill, calling an office move, “good policy.”