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Bureau of Land Management will pause oil, gas leasing on 2.2 million acres in Colorado over climate concerns

The Bureau of Land Management will be pausing oil and gas leasing on 2.2 million acres of Colorado public land under a legal settlement after environmental groups alleged the current management agenda failed to tackle the climate impact.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the Bureau of Land Management have agreed to supple an environmental analysis and release an amended plan for the 2.2 million acres of land in Colorado.

The Executive Director of Citizens for a Healthy Community said in a statement, “The North Fork Valley has been fighting for over a decade to prevent leasing of public lands to oil and gas development around our homes, farms and in our watersheds. We have seen some of the most extreme warning in the country, and our rare and irreplaceable ecosystem is under increasing climate and ecological stress.”

The statement continued, “This moratorium on leasing has been hard fought and would not have been possible without the unwavering persistence of citizen and environmental groups holding government officials accountable.”

The Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and other groups have said in an August 2020 lawsuit that BLM have violated the National Environmental Policy Act, that requires the federal government to have an overview of the environmental impact of the leasing decisions. 

The groups have said that the decision which allowed leasing on the public lands would aggravate the climate crisis and it would be “impossible” to address the major impact without “completely transforming the way public lands are managed for fossil fuel exploitation.”

ARTICLE: NICHOLAS LEONARDO SALGADO

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CPR.ORG

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