Saturday, July 31, 2021

Play

Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.

Play

Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Feds to Review Public-Lands Oil & Gas Lease Program

Play

Friday, March 12, 2021   

GREEN RIVER, Utah - The Biden administration has ordered the U.S. Department of the Interior to conduct a review of the federal government's oil-and-gas leasing program on public lands, with an eye toward better management.

About 38 million acres of onshore and offshore public lands are under lease, but critics says the program has been fraught for decades with organizational, financial and environmental problems.

Aaron Weiss, deputy director of the Center for Western Priorities said the government isn't getting a fair financial return for taxpayers, and has allowed the environmental degradation of America's public lands.

"Our hope is that the administration comes forward with a set of recommendations on how to fully modernize the program," said Weiss, "so that we are fully accounting for the costs of oil and gas that is being extracted from America's public lands."

Weiss said three-quarters of the oil-and-gas leases are non-producing, which prevents them from being used for other purposes.

The Interior Department has scheduled a virtual forum on March 25 to gather public input for the review.

Weiss said he thinks the government also needs to set and enforce stricter environmental regulations, and address the mounting cleanup and remediation costs for abandoned wells, which he said are a major source of greenhouse gases.

"Making sure that the existing laws and policies that are on the books are fully compliant with bedrock conservation laws," said Weiss, "like the Endangered Species Act, like the Clean Air Act. A combination of regulatory and legislative action."

The day-long forum will feature panels of industry representatives, labor and environmental groups, and other experts. Weiss said he believes the leasing program needs a top-to-bottom overhaul.

"Just the fees that they pay for leasing these public lands, those start at a $1.50 an acre," said Weiss. "So, for the price of a cup of coffee, you can lock up acres of public lands and prevent them from being put to other use."

The Interior Department plans to release an interim report by early summer. More information on the review and how to participate in the livestreamed seminar will be posted soon at 'DOI.gov.'


get more stories like this via email

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


Environment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …


Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021