News

Mark Barron Lauds New Policies for Oil and Gas Leasing on Public Lands

News / February 5, 2018

Partner Mark Barron is quoted in an article E&E News published on Feb. 2, 2018. The article, “Critics on New Leasing Policy: ‘BLM is Inviting Lawsuits,’ ” reports on revisions to an Interior Department Instruction Memorandum containing procedures for issuing oil and gas leases on federal lands. The Instruction Memorandum establishes timelines for completing environmental review on parcels nominated for leasing and updates administrative procedures for scheduling and conducting oil and gas lease sales. The revisions are directly responsive to a 2016 legal challenge that Barron brought on behalf of the Western Energy Alliance, in which the Alliance contended that the manner in which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was routinely cancelling lease sales violated the Mineral Leasing Act.

Barron told E&E News, “We interpret the instruction memorandum as a recognition that certain aspects of the existing leasing policy did violate the Mineral Leasing Act, and we appreciate the modification BLM has made to bring their leasing program into compliance with the law.” On Feb. 1, 2018, Western Energy Alliance agreed to voluntarily dismiss its main claims in light of the new instruction memorandum.

Read the article (registration required).

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