Saturday, September 18, 2021


Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.


Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

BLM Barrels Ahead with NM Oil and Gas Leases


Monday, March 30, 2020   

SANTA FE, N.M. -- Despite a global pandemic, it's down to the wire for New Mexico residents who want to comment on the May sale of oil and gas leases by the Bureau of Land Management.

Wednesday is the end of a 10-day protest. The BLM typically requires that comments be delivered in person or by mail in the final protest period, but with the state stay-at-home order in effect, the agency is allowing email comments.

Miya King-Flaherty, organizing representative for the Our Wild New Mexico campaign of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, maintains the lease sales should be paused, or the comment period extended.

"Many people do not have Internet access or the technology and the accessibility needed to be able to email comments, and which is also the case for many rural residents who are on the front lines of oil and gas development," she states.

The proposed lease sale includes 94 parcels or 45,000 acres of public land in New Mexico's Permian Basin.

Oil prices have plummeted since mid-February, in part due to the coronavirus outbreak. That could reduce revenue for the U.S. Treasury when the New Mexico leases are auctioned.

Since President Donald Trump's election, the protest period allowing people to comment on oil and gas activities on public lands has been reduced from 30 days to just 10.

King-Flaherty says in a rural state like New Mexico, the new rule is especially problematic -- but the need to hear people's concerns is greater than ever.

"Because there are multiple uses -- including for recreation purposes, preservation of cultural and archeological sites, and the protection of resources like air and water quality -- that are all impacted by development, which is impacting our climate and our health," she stresses.

The BLM's decision to lease the land doesn't mean it will be developed, but commits the agency to honor the rights of the purchaser to explore and potentially produce oil and gas there.

Disclosure: Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Public Lands/Wilderness, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
A panel of House Democrats proposes raising $2.9 trillion in new taxes to pay for President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" plan through higher tax rates for wealthy Americans. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …


EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …

Social Issues

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …

Republican lawmakers across the country have proposed legislation to limit or forbid the teaching of such concepts as racial equity and white privilege. (Kelly Lacy/Pexels)

Social Issues

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …

Better flood resiliency is top of mind in New York, after scenes like the Long Island Expressway's partial shutdown in Tropical Storm Ida. But who will pay for it? (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …

Social Issues

By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …


MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …


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