Western Energy Alliance supports BLM's move to online lease sales

By Jodi Delapaz

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2016 - The Western Energy Alliance has offered support for the Bureau of Land Management's transition to online sales for oil and natural gas leases on public lands, saying the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and other projects justify the move.

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“The extremism we see from anti-oil and gas protesters, such as the vandalism and sabotage in North Dakota, is cause enough for BLM to hold leases sales online,” says Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs at the Alliance. “Keep-It-in-the-Ground protests of BLM lease sales are another reason,” she said.

Western Energy Alliance is encouraging BLM to hold auctions online following several lease cancellations earlier this year and last year.

BLM recently announced it will hold lease sales for Colorado, Montana, Utah and the Eastern States in December, moving back sales previously planned for November.

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“We strongly support BLM rescheduling next month's lease sales and moving them online since it will increase safety and remove a platform for radical protesters who want to stop American energy production,” Western Energy Alliance said in a release.

Western Energy Alliance recently sued BLM over its failure to comply with the Mineral Leasing Act's mandate that it offer lease sales quarterly in each state where “eligible lands” exist.

The agency's move to internet sales drew protests from the Gulf Coast community and environmental groups earlier this year. BLM says the move has the potential to generate higher bids, while providing greater transparency and a reduction in administrative costs.

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