Additional support for offices in Carlsbad, Farmington and others has helped speed permitting and environmental reviews
February 6, 2014
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) wrote to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, seeking to reauthorize a successful pilot program that has helped the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) improve efficiency and balance complex demands, including oil and gas permitting and environmental conservation, in New Mexico and other parts of the West.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created the pilot program to improve the federal mineral development permit process and help ensure local BLM offices had needed resources. Under the existing program, the Secretary of the Interior may allocate a portion of rental fees paid by producers to seven specific BLM offices, which can be reinvested to hire additional staff or resources to help improve efficiency and support work on the BLM’s diverse responsibilities, such as processing mineral leasing permits and wildlife and range conservation.