Presidential Politics on Public Lands

by Tripp Parks, Manager of Government Affairs on April 16, 2019 - 7:18am

In a blog post short on facts but filled with pie-in-the-sky campaign dreams, Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) outlined her plan for public lands should she be elected president in 2020. First and foremost: a moratorium on all new BLM leasing for oil and natural gas development, which she says will be signed into action by executive order on her first day in office. If elected, Warren also pledges to revive the Obama-era venting and flaring and Waters of the United States rule and expand national monument designations under the Antiquities Act, while in turn dramatically increasing electricity generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources on federal lands.

Senator Warren claims that “we hand over drilling rights to fossil fuel companies for practically no money at all,” a curious statement in light of the more than $6 billion in royalty payments made to the federal government in 2017 and the more than $1 billion generated from BLM lease sales in 2018. As election season begins to ramp up, there’s no doubt we’ll continue to hear rhetoric demonizing oil and natural gas, and it seems Senator Warren wants to be out front with a splashy plan for eliminating our industry’s access to public lands. Then again, you probably have to go bold when you’re running a distant third place in your home state.

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