Leasing lag?

by Adam Petry

During the past two years, the Bureau of Land Management has been offering less land for oil and gas leasing in Wyoming. The trend is due largely to market conditions -- a reflection of low current and future oil and gas prices -- but energy experts also cite a surplus in non-producing acreage, an increase in the number of protests (the BLM is still sorting through a two-year backlog), and uncertainty over recent and pending endangered species listing decisions, such as the sage grouse. The change in administration has also been an important factor. While the Bush administration encouraged leasing on many sensitive landscapes, Obama is pushing agencies to take a more thoughtful approach to how much land goes up for sale. (Click image to see larger graph).

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