Oil and Gas Leasing BLM Should Update Its Guidance and Review Its Fees, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 4MB]
From the Highlights: "BLM [Bureau of Land Management] leases federal lands for oil and gas development through a process largely established with the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987. Through this process, the public can suggest which federal lands should be made available for leasing by nominating them. BLM state offices review nominations, including to assess potential environmental impacts. BLM then offers leases at competitive auctions. While no fee is required to submit nominations, BLM charges an application fee for any leases that parties acquire. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review oil and gas leasing on federal lands. This report examines: (1) changes to BLM's policies for oil and gas leasing since 1987, (2) outcomes for lands nominated for oil and gas leasing, and (3) the extent to which BLM reviews its oil and gas leasing fees in response to changing conditions. GAO analyzed BLM policies and guidance as well as data on nominations, leasing, costs, and fees collected. GAO also interviewed BLM headquarters and state office officials as well as representatives of two stakeholder groups."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov