Oil And Gas Development: Increased Permitting Activity Has Lessened BLM's Ability to Meet Its Environmental Protection Responsibilities
Rising U.S. energy consumption and concerns about dependency on foreign energy sources have prompted the administration to aggressively pursue domestic oil and gas production, including production on public lands, which in turn has generated concern that the impacts of this activity may compromise the use of public land for other purposes.
(1) the extent to which the level of oil and gas development on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has changed in recent years, and how the change has affected BLM's ability to mitigate impacts;
(2) what policy changes related to oil and gas development BLM recently made and how these policies affected BLM's environmental mitigation activities; and
(3) what challenges BLM faces in managing its oil and gas program.BLM's ability to meet its environmental mitigation responsibilities for oil and gas development has been lessened by a dramatic increase in oil and gas operations on federal lands over the past 6 years.