Groups seek names of nominators of North Fork Valley lease parcels
Two groups today filed suit asking that the federal government be forced to reveal who nominated 30,000 acres in the North Fork Valley for oil and gas leasing.
The suit by Citizens for a Healthy Community and the Western Environmental Law Center also challenges the Bureau of Land Management’s general policy of not revealing nominators of parcels until leasing has taken place.
“The public has a right to know which companies are nominating our public lands for oil and gas development,” Jim Ramey, director of Citizens for a Healthy Community, said in a news release. “This is just another example of how the government bends over backward to protect the interests of an industry with deep pockets instead of the interests of the public.”
The North Fork Valley parcels had been scheduled to be leased in August but the BLM deferred their leasing after widespread concern was raised about drilling in the area.
The two groups behind the lawsuit asked the Department of Interior last December to reveal the nominators of the parcels. They said it refused, saying that disclosure could reveal lands specific companies are interested in leasing, likely causing them “substantial competitive harm.”