(Cheyenne, WY) – Governor Mark Gordon has issued the following statement in response to an announcement today from the Bureau of Land Management to not hold its second quarter oil and gas lease sale.
The announcement by the Bureau of Land Management “to not hold” the second quarter oil and gas lease sale due to an ongoing review ordered by President Biden is disappointing, disheartening and not surprising. Federal reviews of anything typically take months, and sometimes years.
What is most disappointing is that the Department of Interior could have chosen to review the federal oil and gas leasing program while conducting quarterly sales. Instead they chose to tighten the financial choke of revenue that would normally flow to the state from lease sales, all the while refraining from consulting with the very states and communities that are directly impacted by these decisions.
Over the past eight years, Wyoming has received, on average, $35 million annually from oil and gas lease sales on federal lands. This year, we have received zero, because the first and second quarter lease sales have been indefinitely postponed.
Wyoming recently filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Wyoming stating that the postponement is actually a leasing moratorium and is contrary to law. Next week I will testify before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the impacts of this action, and why an oil and gas leasing “moratorium” is unnecessary.