Fight Climate Change by Raising Rates to Drill on Public Land

Natural gas drilling rig operating on public land in Wyoming.

Target: U.S. Bureau of Land Management Director, Neil Kornze

Goal: Lease public lands at current market rates when the purpose is extracting finite resources for corporate profit.

Big Oil has been paying the same amount of money to drill on public land since the 1920’s when it cost a nickel to see a movie. ExxonMobil, Shell and other giant, multi-national oil companies must laugh themselves sick at these ridiculous rates while they rake in enormous profits off U.S. public lands. Afterwards, they leave its citizens the bill for damage inflicted on our natural heritage. Demand that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management charge current market rates for resource extraction on public lands to help fight climate change and protect vital wildlife habitats.

Charging rates that are nearly a century old cheats the taxpayer and makes fools of U.S. citizens. We won’t have any public lands left for future generations if giant energy companies can chew them up for profit without even paying for the privilege. We must charge something in line with current pricing and put that money towards climate research, wildlife management, endangered species and attempted repair of the endless ways Big Oil has damaged our environment.

The mission of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is to “…manage and conserve public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield.” Sounds nice, but the BLM is completely failing or perhaps simply ignoring that mission for present and future generations when royalty rates date from 1920 while soaring costs of pollution are not a factor. Afterwards, the destructive effects of drilling on public lands more closely represent solo use than shared use. Oil and gas drilling disrupts wildlife habitat and has permanently destroyed some recreational areas.

Despite concerns about climate change, oil production on federal land grew 81 percent between 2008 and 2014, fueled by laughable rates that invite abuse. Tell the BLM that it’s time it lived up to its mission of multiple use and sustainability on behalf of future generations and charged current market rates for resource extraction on public lands by signing the petition below.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear BLM Director Kornze,

The BLM is completely failing in its mission for present and future generations when it gives away the precious finite resources within our public lands to oil and gas drillers in exchange for rates set in 1920. Afterwards, it’s the taxpayer who picks up the costs of pollution and habitat disruption. Leasing public land for resource exploitation at a cost of $1.50/year is offensive. It’s been called “irrational” and it clearly makes fools of American citizens who keep being told public lands are their heritage by birth.

Enough is enough. The destruction of recreational areas to energy drilling makes a mockery of multiple use and the amount of money raised from leasing drilling rights is insultingly low. Our public lands are being plundered by oil and gas drillers and we’re not doing anything to protect either our lands or ourselves. Despite concerns over climate change, oil production on federal land grew 81 percent between 2008 and 2014, fueled by laughable rates that invite abuse. It’s time the BLM lived up to its mission of sustainability on behalf of future generations and charged current market rates for resource extraction on public lands.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: The Pinedale Field office of the BLM

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