Citizens for a Healthy Community and the Western Environmental Law Center were joined by more than two dozen local and national organizations in calling on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to end its secretive policy of withholding Expressions of Interests (EOIs) until after public lands have been auctioned off. The EOIs are submitted to the BLM in order to lease public lands for oil and gas drilling and fracking.
In a letter sent to the agency last week, the groups called on the BLM to embrace transparency and end the needless FOIA requests and potential legal actions in order to obtain EOIs. The groups wrote:
"The agency can best serve the public interest by making EOIs publicly available when lease sale notices are posted. Such a policy is consistent with the Colorado District Court's order ... and would eliminate the needless filing of numerous FOIA requests by concerned citizens, community groups and journalists. Such an approach would also alleviate needless staff time by the BLM's FOIA officers to receive, process and reply to FOIA requests that seek EOIs."
Citizens for a Healthy Community and the Western Environmental Law Center successfully challenged the agency in court, winning disclosure of the parties nominating parcels for the BLM's oil and gas lease sale in the North Fork Valley earlier this year. They contend the BLM continues to withhold this information in other oil and gas lease sales.blog comments powered by Disqus