• July 17, 2024

Biden Admin Moves to Enact Oil Lease Ban on 1.6 Million Acres of Land

The Bureau of Land Management issued a proposal Thursday that would ban new oil leasing on about 1.6 million acres of land in Colorado.

The proposal is part of an initiative by the Biden administration to settle litigation with environmentalist groups that have challenged the government’s land use policies, according to E&E News.

If finalized, the proposal could decrease the number of oil wells in the affected areas by 600 over the next two decades.

The proposal would also designate nine zones of BLM-owned land as “areas of critical environmental concern,” amounting to over 100,000 acres in the state, according to E&E News.

Colorado is responsible for 4 percent of U.S. domestic crude oil production, making it the fifth-largest crude oil-producing state in the country.

BLM is also seeking to pare back new leasing activity on sites that are culturally significant to Native American tribes living in the region, according to E&E News. Some tribes have pushed back because they rely on revenues from mining and drilling.

BLM’s proposal follows the Biden administration’s decision to settle a legal dispute with activists who had contested the approval of offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The settlement will lead the government to restrict oil and gas leasing in an area of about 11 million acres.

President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to end drilling projects on federal lands. Biden also delivered a “guarantee” as a candidate that his administration would “end fossil fuels.”

The BLM proposal is expected to be published in the Federal Register at some point Friday, according to E&E News.

BLM did not respond immediately to a request for comment.


The Daily Allegiant