Master Leasing Plans: Eliminating the False Choice Between Energy & Conservation

Denver, CO – On the heels of Interior Secretary’s Sally Jewell’s speech to the National Press Club, Western Values Project is releasing a new report detailing the benefits of Master Leasing Plans (MLP’s).

The BLM is required under statute to manage multiple uses and provide sustained yield from our public lands. Under the old leasing process, the BLM routinely sold leases in sensitive areas and without adequate protections for wildlife, water, recreation and other potentially affected values.

No better example of this imbalance occurred than in 2009 when former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar canceled 77 leases to oil and gas companies that his predecessor had approved under the Bush administration. Born out of that controversy, Master Leasing Plans were part of a comprehensive leasing reform process implemented by Secretary Salazar in 2010.

Secretary Jewell touted the tool in her speech last month saying, “the type of new, smart, balanced development is especially what we need in new frontiers like the Arctic, or in the development of Master Leasing Plans, or in places like the Bakken region of North Dakota where we’re experiencing a major energy boom.”

But now it’s time for action. The new report from Western Values Project outlines three MLP’s currently under preparation and four future opportunities for their implementation.

“Conflict, controversy, bureaucratic red tape, and millions spent in legal fees are consequences of not bringing all stakeholders to the table. Master Leasing Plans can change that,” said Ross Lane director of Western Values Project. “By using MLP’s, we have the opportunity to not only balance conservation and energy development, but ensure a smoother path forward for industry as well.”

Read the report here: Master Leasing Plan Report

Join the effort to strengthen the American West.