Wasatch Front residents: attend an April 3rd meeting on Moab area leasing plan

Let the BLM know you don't want oil and gas leasing in sensitive places like the Labyrinth Canyon area. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

The BLM is holding scoping meetings for the public to learn more about Secretary Salazar’s oil and gas leasing reforms, specifically about something called the Moab master leasing plan or “Moab MLP.”  We urge you to attend the public meeting in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 3rd from 6-8pm at the Salt Lake City Main Library.

The BLM plans to take a closer look at what lands should be available for oil, gas and potash leasing over a large swath of Grand and northern San Juan County.  The goal is for BLM to make smarter decisions when it decides to offer lands for lease and to determine whether all the public lands identified in the 2008 Moab resource management plan should be open for leasing and development and if so, under what conditions.

This closer look should end up protecting public sources of drinking water, air quality, primitive recreational opportunities, and wild public lands.  This is also your chance to tell BLM to be sure that Arches and Canyonlands National Parks should be protected from the sight, sound and harmful impacts of oil and gas leasing and development.

While many local officials support the BLM’s Moab MLP initiative, we know that industry trade groups and others will be spreading misinformation about the current shape of energy development on Utah’s public lands.  Here are some useful facts:

  • Oil and gas production in Utah is at its highest level in 20 years and the number of producing wells statewide is at an all-time high.
  • In FY 2011, the oil and gas industry had more than 4.4 million acres leased for development in Utah but were producing on just under 1.1 million acres.
  • The number of drill rigs in Utah right now (38) is at the highest level in years.

Bottom line, the oil and gas industry is doing just fine.  Making smart decisions to protect Moab’s clean air, clean water, and recreation industry is the right thing to do.

Learn more details about the master leasing plan process, see a map of the Moab MLP, and view the public meeting schedule at: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab/MLP.htm.  Comments can be sent directly to the BLM at BLM_UT_Comments_2@blm.gov.