PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily News - October 23, 2020 


President Trump and Joe Biden square off in their final debate; warnings that "dark days" of the pandemic are yet to come; and food assistance now available for some wildfire victims.


2020Talks - October 23, 2020 


The second and last presidential debate was much more controlled than the first; President Trump keeping to his main themes, calmly rebutted by Biden.

Sportswomen Call Renewed Sales of Oil and Gas Leases "Reckless"

Conservation groups argue that selling even more oil and gas leases on public lands will deprive communities of significant tax revenue that could be generated by hunting, fishing, or other uses. (Creative Commons)
Conservation groups argue that selling even more oil and gas leases on public lands will deprive communities of significant tax revenue that could be generated by hunting, fishing, or other uses. (Creative Commons)
August 27, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Sportswomen with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) say new sales of oil and gas leases on public lands will hurt Western communities.

But that didn't stop the Trump administration from resuming the sales this week after a five-month pause.

Today, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will put 94 parcels totaling 45,000 acres up for sale.

Those leases are mostly in New Mexico around the Permian Basin in the southeast corner of the state, an area already experiencing air-quality problems.

Marcia Brownlee, program manager for Artemis, a sportswomen's initiative at the NWF, said conservation and recreation should be given equal consideration in such decisions -- even in a state such as New Mexico -- which is highly dependent on oil and gas revenues.

"Which is so vital to New Mexico's economy," Brownlee said. "But right now the public is being taken to the cleaners by an approach that prioritizes corporate interests over public interests."

Proponents of the Trump administration's energy-dominance policies say development on public lands is necessary for the nation's economic and energy security.

In addition to parcels in New Mexico, others will be offered in Texas and Oklahoma. The sales originally were scheduled for May, but postponed because of COVID-19.

Brownlee said given the current backlog of leases, new sales are "reckless" and should be halted until the industry's 100-year-old laws can be revised to bring the leasing system into the 21st century.

Brownlee hunts and fishes in Montana, and said during the current pandemic, people are seeking respite in the same natural spaces the government wants to drill.

"When we're out on those landscapes as hunters and anglers, we're getting so much benefit from that land," Brownlee said. "The mental, physical and emotional health benefits, not to mention the food source to feed our families and our friends while we're out there."

According to the Artemis initiative, women make up more than 25% of anglers and roughly 20% of hunters, and are the fastest-growing sector of the sporting industry.

In recent years, New Mexico's outdoor-recreation economy has grown faster than the overall state economy.

Disclosure: National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM