U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Introduces Bill to Put An End to Speculative Oil & Gas Leasing, Support America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Outdoor Recreation Economy 

(ELKO, NV) — Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto introduced the “End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2020” to put an end to speculative oil and gas leasing and promote other, revenue-generating activities of our public lands, including: renewable energy projects, outdoor recreation, hunting, and fishing. Each year the federal government wastes time and money on millions of acres of low and no potential oil and gas leases that seldom generate revenues for American taxpayers. This approach prioritizes oil and gas leasing above everything else and forecloses opportunities to enhance other possible energy related activities and bolster outdoor recreation economies. Senator Cortez Masto’s bill would end the wasteful practice of leasing public lands with low or no drilling potential to speculators so that these areas can be better managed for the changing needs of the American public and other uses. 

Public Lands Solutions’ Managing Director, Ashley Korenblat, released the following statement in response:

“Right now, unproductive oil and gas leasing is threatening communities across the west. In the 21st century economy, many cities and towns depend on high quality public lands to attract visitors and businesses. Speculative leasing on public lands that don’t have any actual drilling potential, with little consideration being given to the outdoor recreation assets that would be degraded as a result is just bad business. Senator Cortez Masto’s bill, the End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2020, will update our public land system by putting an end to this wasteful practice and requiring the BLM to stop prioritizing oil and gas leasing above everything else.” 

“The most powerful economic engine on our public lands today is the outdoor recreation economy. Communities of all types are seeing consistent growth through access to high quality public lands, via both the $887 billion in recreation-related consumer spending, and by recruiting businesses who use quality of life to attract and retain employees.

Speculative oil and gas leasing on low and no potential lands is a real threat to western communities that depend on clean air and water to attract both visitors and businesses. Senator Cortez Masto’s bill is a crucial step toward ending this wasteful practice and guaranteeing that our public lands are managed in a way that benefits our communities, not just the oil and gas industry. This bill will improve economic prospects across the west, by ending speculative leasing on the places where we live, work, and play.” 

For more information about Low Potential Leasing, CLICK HERE.