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Backroom Deals: The Hidden World of Noncompetitive Oil and Gas Leasing

Backroom Deals: The Hidden World of Noncompetitive Oil and Gas Leasing

Kate Kelly, Jenny Rowland-Shea, and Nicole Gentile argue that the U.S. noncompetitive leasing program is outdated and wasteful and that Congress should put an end to it.

Last year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a massive oil and gas lease sale, putting more than 300,000 acres of public lands in Nevada up for auction. The sale was largely in response to a request to lease the land from an anonymous individual, a routine way onshore oil and gas leasing is kicked off for the federal government.

On the day of the lease sale, however, that anonymous individual did not show up to bid—nor did anyone else, for that matter. The BLM did not sell an acre of land, not even for the minimum bid of $2.

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Kate Kelly

Director, Public Lands

Jenny Rowland-Shea

Deputy Director, Public Lands

Nicole Gentile

Senior Director, Public Lands