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A new Bureau of Land Management directive to agency field staff calling for streamlining environmental reviews for Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs) on non-federal surface land for federal subsurface mineral estate was issued this week. Interior Department Royalty Policy Committee advisers—a group of 20 representatives from government, oil and gas industry, academia, and renewables, among others—made their recommendation last week in Albuquerque, N.M.


A study commissioned by the Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners (CAMRO) finds that implementing policies or ballot measures that would effectively ban oil and gas development in in one of Colorado’s most productive oil fields would strand a “staggering” $180 billion worth of resources and cost mineral rights owners as much as $26 billion. “The biggest takeaway is the staggering dollar amount,” Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners (CAMRO) president, Neil Ray told Western Wire.


A New Mexico trade association called a proposal by U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich to ban leasing and development on multi-use public lands around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park “unnecessary and a waste” of the state’s abundant natural resources. Jim Winchester, Executive Director of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico (IPA-NM), told Western Wire via email that balancing protections for historical sites with economic development was not an either/or proposition, and a “waste” of the state’s abundant natural resources.

Calling his agency’s approach in the past “wrongheaded,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt fired back at Washington, D.C., rejecting the false choice between air and water quality and a growing economy in an exclusive interview with Western Wire. Pruitt also spoke before hundreds of conservative activists at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver Friday. The convention is hosted by Colorado Christian University.

University of Colorado

A recent study detailing how and where environmental philanthropic grants are allocated shows a lack of “intellectual diversity on the climate issue,” according to leading political scientist, Roger Pielke, Jr. The study, authored by Matthew Nisbet, Professor of Communication Studies and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at …

House Natural Resources Committee YouTube

Officials from New Mexico and Utah told the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Wednesday that proposed legislation designed to streamline oil and gas permitting in their states, including shifting more responsibility to state regulators from the Bureau of Land Management, would boost their states’ economies without reducing environmental protections. The committee heard testimony on draft legislation from Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) concerning permitting cost recovery for protests of oil and gas lease sales, expanding categorical exclusions to waive National Environmental Policy Act reviews to streamline permitting, and waiving the requirement for federal permits for non-federal surface leases where subsurface mineral estate is less than 50 percent is federally owned.

Western Wire

Streamlining the federal permitting process and approving the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project were top priorities at a House Natural Resources Committee field hearing last week. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, the committee chair, was hosted by Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District Rep. Scott Tipton at Colorado Mesa University.

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