SALT LAKE CITY – Consistent with direction in the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bureau of Land Management Utah State Office released an environmental assessment today analyzing six parcels comprising 8,972.24 acres for the proposed December 2023 competitive oil and gas lease sale on lands managed within the Vernal Field Office in Uintah County. The release of this environmental assessment starts a 30-day public comment period.
The BLM completed scoping on these parcels on Jan. 19, 2023, and now seeks input on the environmental analysis. All parcels leased as part of an oil and gas lease sale include appropriate stipulations to protect important natural resources. Public comments must be submitted electronically via the BLM Land Use Planning and National Environmental Policy Act Register (ePlanning) and must be received by July 3, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. MT. Comments received by other methods will not be accepted. Additional information, including spatial data and exhibits, are online on our ePlanning website at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2022373/510.
The most valuable public comments are practical and relevant to the proposed action. For example, comments may question, within reason, the accuracy of information, methodology or assumptions, then present reasonable alternatives to those already analyzed. Comments containing only opinions and/or preferences, or those seeming similar to other comments will not be addressed specifically in the environmental review process.
This BLM lease sale will include updated fiscal provisions authorized by Congress in the Inflation Reduction Act:
- Minimum bids for all offered parcels will be $10 per acre, an increase from the $2 per-acre minimum bid set in 1987;
- Royalty rates will be 16.67%, up from the previous minimum of 12.5%; and
- Rental rates will be $3 per acre for the first two years; $5 per acre for years three through eight; and $15 per acre for years nine and 10. (Prior to the Inflation Reduction Act, rental rates were $1.50 per acre for the first five years and $2 per acre for each year thereafter, rates originally set in 1987).
Further information can be found here.