H/t Bob Wick, BLM
(Gillette, Wyo.) Multiple statements from Wyoming’s federal representation have been released in response to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s order to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to improve access to federal lands by the Oil and Gas Industry.
“Oil and gas production on federal lands is an important source of revenue and job growth in rural America but it is hard to envision increased investment on federal lands when a federal permit can take the better part of a year or more in some cases. This is why I’m directing the BLM to conduct quarterly lease sales and address these permitting issues. We are also looking at opportunities to bring support to our front line offices who are facing the brunt of this workload,” Secretary Zinke announced in a press release. “This is just good government and will further support the President’s goal of American energy dominance.”
Zinke’s order is being whole heartedly embraced by both of Wyoming Senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, as well as by Wyoming Congressman Liz Cheney, who all advocate that the order will bring nothing but prosperity to the state’s energy and extraction industries.
“Wyoming’s economy is built on access to abundant and affordable sources of energy that power America. The secretarial order by the Department of the Interior to streamline the unacceptable backlog of permit applications for mineral leases on federal lands will help to bring an end to the previous administration’s war on Wyoming jobs and fossil fuels,” Congressman Cheney said in a separate press release. “It’s essential for our economic and national security needs that the federal government continues to remove the regulatory burden that threatens the effective implementation of leasing programs across the West. With the federal government out of the way, Wyoming’s energy industry can begin to thrive again, bringing back jobs and economic growth and ensuring our nation has access to reliable energy for generations to come.”
Sen. Barrasso stated that the energy production has been held back by the permitting delays in BLM offices across the West. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior, as of January 31, 2017, there were over 2,800 applications for permit to drill (APD) pending within the BLM with the office in Casper, WY, backed up the most with over 500 APD’s pending.
“I’m encouraged that today’s secretarial order will get the ball rolling on making necessary reforms to help BLM field offices address the growing backlog,” Barrasso expressed in his own release. “It’s important that BLM has a system in place that allows them to effectively and efficiently process these permits.”
Concurring with his fellow elected officials, Sen. Enzi’s press release praised the order, claiming that federal permitting process for oil, gas, and other resources must be both consistent and reliable if the development in Wyoming is to be encouraged.
“That is why I appreciate that Secretary Zinke and the Trump Administration are taking steps to not only clean up the current backlog, but improve the system for the future,” said Sen. Enzi in his press release. “We should ensure that we can safely but promptly provide the opportunity for development of our country’s energy resources on federal land.”
“The Department of the Interior will be a better neighbor in the new Trump Administration,” Zinke promised in his press release. “As is outlined in this order, we will look at ways to improve the process and make sure regulations serve their intended purpose rather than create a mountain of useless paperwork. By streamlining approvals of responsible energy development on federal land, and actually holding lease sales, we will generate revenue for local communities and the Treasury to fund the things we all value like National Parks, infrastructure and education.”
To read the full press releases mentioned above, click on the politician’s name below.
For more information regarding secretarial order 3354, click here.