The short of it is: We’re bringing forward a storm of transparency.
We started on October 5, 2017 by filing five requests with the Bureau of Land Management. Since then, we’ve kept up the pace, calling on the agency to release to the American public myriad records related to the management of public lands and resources. Among the requests:
- An October 6 request to the BLM New Mexico State Office for records related to the so-called “backlog” in oil and gas drilling permits;
- An October 7 request to the BLM Montana State Office for records related to a proposal to modify a federal coal lease for the Decker coal mine;
- An October 8 request to the BLM Montana State Office for records related to a proposal to issue a new federal coal lease to the Decker coal company;
- An October 9 request to the BLM Utah State Office for records related to a the South Fork coal lease modifications proposal;
- An October 10 request to the BLM Washington, D.C. Office for records related to an October 6, 2017 press release regarding oil and gas lease sales; and
- An October 11 request to the BLM Washington, D.C. Office for records related to a decision to stop sharing data with the public regarding oil and gas drilling permits that have been approved, but not yet developed by industry.
Stay tuned for more, there’s still 20 days left in October.
And as always, stay tuned for the responses to these Freedom of Information Act requests. All data obtained by WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program is posted on our Freedom of Information Act repository page. There, the public has access to all the records we obtain. In most cases, this is the sole online source of this information. For example, we just received records related to pending federal coal leases in Wyoming.
While the Bureau of Land Management may view this push for transparency as a problem, we view it as critical for countering government secrecy and promoting democracy. The last thing we, as Americans, should tolerate is a government that believes inquiry is problematic. If anything, it’s patriotic and that’s exactly why we’re going to maintain course and keep our Transparency Blitz in full force.