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Something “Weird” is Going on in Nevada

UPDATE:  Unbelievably, even though reputable oil and gas industry representatives say there is no legitimate industry interest in developing oil and gas in Nevada, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is still moving to auction off public lands for fracking in the state. In response to WildEarth Guardians, John Ruhs, the former Bureau of Land Management Nevada State Director and current Acting Deputy Director for Operations, says the agency will continue to offer public lands for sale in Nevada, despite the weirdness.

It’s a telling example of just how the Bureau of Land Management is, at all costs, putting the interests of the oil and gas industry, even illegitimate interests, before its duty to protect American public lands and resources.

2014-06-24_12_17_46_Wildflowers_east_of_Elko_County_Route_748_(Charleston-Jarbidge_Road)_along_the_border_of_the_Mountain_City_and_Jarbidge_ranger_districts_in_Copper_Basin,_Nevada

High mountains of Nevada, targeted by purported oil and gas industry interests.

With the oil and gas industry itself saying that there is no interest in developing in Nevada, WildEarth Guardians has called on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to put a halt to any further oil and gas leasing in the state.

At issue are millions of acres of public lands in Nevada that purported oil and gas industry interests have urged the Bureau of Land Management to auction off for fracking.  However, according to legitimate oil and gas industry representatives, there are actually no reputable companies seeking to develop in Nevada.

In fact, the purported oil and gas industry’s interest in Nevada has been described as “weird” by legitimate spokespeople.

This revelation is huge. The Bureau of Land Management in Nevada and other western states has been spending countless taxpayer dollars to offer public lands to the oil and gas industry over the years.  WildEarth Guardians has been on the frontlines of confronting these plans.

Industry’s remarks clearly show these expenditures have been complete wastes. Not only that, but the Bureau of Land Management’s oil and gas leasing program in Nevada seems less about encouraging oil and gas development and more about encouraging speculation.  As we’ve commented before, it’s a shame that our public lands are being caught up in such a scam.

nevada oil and gas leases

1.1 million acres of public lands in Nevada have already been auctioned off to the oil and gas industry. Only 27,000 acres of these leased lands–or 2%–have actually produced oil and gas.

It’s no wonder the Interior Department, which oversees the Bureau of Land Management, and Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, is taking heat for auctioning off public lands to the oil and gas industry when there is no need.

In our latest filing, we’ve called on the Bureau of Land Management to put a halt to new oil and gas leasing in Nevada and to assess whether it’s appropriate to offer any new oil and gas leases for sale in Nevada.

With industry itself saying that interest in Nevada is unfounded, the Bureau of Land Management can’t possibly justify selling off any more public lands for fracking in the state.

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