DOI News

Changing the Way We Do Business


Secretary Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey at a press conference announcing energy reformsThe Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management launched several reforms to the onshore oil and gas leasing process in an effort to improve protections for land, water, and wildlife and reduce potential conflicts that can lead to costly and time-consuming protests and litigation of leases. In addition, Secretary Salazar issued a Secretarial Order creating a new Energy Reform Team.

Secretary Salazar said the following about the new reforms:

We need a fresh look – from inside the federal government and from outside – at how we can better manage Americans’ energy resources. The new guidance BLM is issuing for field managers will help bring clarity, consistency, and public engagement to the onshore oil and gas leasing process while balancing the many resource values that the Bureau of Land Management is entrusted with protecting on behalf of the American people. In addition, with the help of our new Energy Reform Team, we will improve the Department’s internal operations to better manage publicly owned energy resources and the revenues they produce.

Many of the reforms that the Bureau of Land Management will undertake follow the recommendations of an interdisciplinary review team that studied a controversial 2008 oil and gas lease sale in Utah.  

Under the reformed oil and gas leasing policy, BLM will provide the following:

A comparison of the new guidance with current policy can be found here.

BLM Director Bob Abbey sat down with us to help explain what these new reforms mean for BLM and for oil and gas companies. Check out video of our interview with Director Abbey here.