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With questions beginning to swirl around the prospect of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headquarters moving back to Washington D.C. from Grand Junction, Colorado, a senior Democrat and long-standing supporter of the relocation of the headquarters to Colorado told Western Wire he wants to see a robust presence remain in the state.
As oil prices crashed to stunning lows earlier this year, the Interior Department offered temporary royalty relief to some oil and natural gas producers operating on federal lands in the hope of helping small businesses survive. Now that program is coming under scrutiny from Democrats in Congress, who call the move a give-away for industry that hurt taxpayers.
On Tuesday, House Democrats rejected a resolution that would have affirmed state primacy over the regulation of hydraulic fracking. H. Res. 659 also affirmed opposition to any president unilaterally declaring a fracking moratorium on Federal lands.
The Bureau of Land Management’s third quarter lease sale for oil and gas development that brought in a modest $20.5 million. The released numbers include the sale of parcels in nine western and four eastern states.
The BLM has never belonged in Washington. It manages 247 million acres, almost half of all public lands, and 700 million acres of mineral rights, with a unique mission. The National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Forest Service, for instance, all have very specific uses, but the BLM is tasked with managing its lands for multiple uses, in numerous categories and under a wide variety of laws.
A 10-year old agreement between Colorado and the federal government was recently extended, bringing at least a temporary end to uncertainty about how oil and gas production on the Western Slope would be regulated. The BLM also told Western Wire today that a new MOU is in the works.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced on Monday that its headquarters would be moving from Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction, Colo., a decision that’s received praise from both sides of the political aisle in a time when the capitol is extremely divided.