11-17-16 Obama Administration Sacrifices Jobs and Public Education with Energy Lease Cancellations

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bob Bishop logo

Obama Administration Sacrifices Jobs and Public Education with Energy Lease Cancellations

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced the cancellation oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide section of the White River National Forest (WRNF). Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) released the following statement:  

“The Obama administration has hijacked federal agencies tasked by law to facilitate responsible energy development instead to do the bidding of radical environmentalists and shut down production. Impairing contracts and unilaterally terminating leases will win applause from national environmental groups but it does nothing but further dissuade investment, jobs and growth for Western Colorado communities. Despite the enormous energy potential in the Mancos Shale, the Obama administration has sacrificed public education, jobs and economic revitalization with this decision.”

I firmly believe that we can harness our land’s energy potential without compromising Colorado’s natural beauty. The cancellation of leases in the White River National Forest is a continuation of this Administration’s false assertions that energy development has to come at the expense of preservation, and it is another action in a pattern that we have seen to permanently withdraw federal land from future natural resource development,” Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) said. “This is simply unacceptable, and it will be imperative that we keep all energy resources as a viable option to fuel our economy in the years to come.

On July 12, 216, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearingon the opportunities of developing the game-changing Mancos Shale reserves in Colorado. During the hearing, Committee and panel members asked the BLM to reopen comments on the draft environmental impact statement for the WRNF given the June 2016 U.S. Geological Survey findings.