Press Release

BLM accepting comments on environmental assessment for Nevada oil and gas lease sale this December

  • Sep 04, 2019
  • DOI-BLM

ELKO, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada is opening a 30-day public comment period on its preliminary Environmental Analysis (EA) for a proposed Dec. 10, 2019 oil and gas lease sale. A total of 15 parcels encompassing 20,330.86 acres located in the Elko District are proposed for lease. This notice initiates a 30-day public comment period on associated environmental documents that opened on August 27, 2019 and closes on September 25, 2019. The BLM will hold the lease sale online at www.energynet.com.

The BLM is a key contributor to the Trump Administration's America-First Energy Plan, an all-of-the-above strategy that includes oil and gas, coal, strategic minerals, and renewable sources such as wind, geothermal, and solar – all of which can be produced on public lands.

By statute, the BLM is required to offer quarterly oil and gas lease sales of available federal lands. These lease sales represent parcels that have been through environmental review and public comment. The BLM issues both competitive and non-competitive leases for a 10-year period. A lease is a contract to explore and develop any potential oil and gas. A lease may earn an extension if the lessee establishes production; otherwise the lessee pays an annual rental fee.

Responsible energy development includes thoughtful consideration of parcels nominated for leasing as well as potential resource impacts of decisions to lease. An additional environmental review will take place during processing of an Application for Permit to Drill (APD), when site-specific Conditions of Approval will be placed on the permit in addition to the stipulations attached to the lease.

The BLM generated a record $1.1 billion from 28 oil and gas lease sales in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The oil and gas industry on public lands in Nevada contributed $3.1 million in total economic output in FY 2019. Revenues from onshore oil and gas production on federal lands directly fund the U.S. Treasury and state budgets, and they support public education, infrastructure improvements, and other state-determined priorities. Nearly half the bid and rental receipts from lease sales go to the state of Nevada. The state also receives half of the revenue from royalties if oil and gas are developed on the lease.

Public Comments

The preliminary EA, maps and attached stipulations can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xVgUT.

Public comments must be submitted in writing to the BLM Elko District Office, 3900 East Idaho St, Elko, NV 89801 or faxed to Thomas Schmidt at (775) 753-0325.

Please note that the most useful public comments are substantive and identify issues relevant to the proposed action. These may question, with reasonable basis, the accuracy of information, methodology or assumptions, and present reasonable alternatives other than those analyzed. Comments that contain only opinions or preferences, or comments that are essentially identical to other comments, will not be specifically addressed in the environmental review process.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your public scoping comment, you should be aware that your entire comment - including your personal identifying information - may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question with the individual named above. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

This comment period complies with the terms of a Preliminary Injunction issued by the U.S. District Court of Idaho in W. Watersheds Project v. BLM (No. 1:18-cv-00187-REB), which required lengthier comment periods on environmental compliance documents associated with parcels that intersect Priority or General Habitat Management Areas for Greater Sage-grouse.

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