BLM Brass Expanded Oil Drilling In Colo. Over Local Staff Objections

“The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Washington office ignored the advice of its Colorado staff, deciding to expand oil and gas drilling in the southwest corner of the state because earlier plans were “not in line with the administration’s direction to decrease regulatory burden and increase access.”

BLM documents, obtained by environment watchdog Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), show tension between the agency’s regional staff and those who work in headquarters amid a push by the Trump administration to relocate almost all of BLM’s Washington-based staff out West so they will be closer to the lands that they manage.

Expanded oil and gas activity in Colorado was approved in July over objections from entities in the state, including from Gov. Jared Polis (D), who argued the plan would increase haze, interfere with protected wildlife and conflict with state laws on drilling.”

Rebecca Beitsch reports for The Hill February 6, 2020.