Piceance oil, gas plan raises lease rights concerns

A proposal intended to protect wildlife from oil and gas development in the Piceance Basin fails to respect energy companies’ existing lease rights, critics say. The legal concern could…


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The companies argue that conditions should not be imposed at the time of lease, because at that point, number of wells, etc. is not known - and that conditions should wait for drilling permits. They want to have it both ways.

In the North Fork, the CO BLM is arguing that everything will be fine leasing lands under a 30-year-old NEPA analysis because it can attached updated ‘conditions of approval’ to address these very same issues (and a host of others never considered in its base-line RMP from the 1980s).  Here we see that that is likely not the case, and the attempt to pretend such protections will apply is a shell game.  This article demonstrates why protections need to be in the land use plan, and when that land use plan is decades and decades outdated, then a new land use plan needs to be in place BEFORE leasing.

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