Washington, D.C. – Today, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced a new strategy that will help modernize oil, gas, and energy planning on public lands by taking a landscape-scale approach to reducing and mitigating the environmental impacts of energy projects. In response to the announcement, Matt Lee-Ashley, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
With oil and gas development booming, now is the time to develop smarter ways of siting projects, reducing environmental impacts, and ensuring that land, water, and wildlife resources are being protected for future generations. Secretary Jewell’s announcement today is another step toward providing much-needed reforms and modernizations to a federal oil and gas program that is well behind the times. Establishing a clear plan for reducing and mitigating the impacts of energy development on public lands is critical to ensuring the sustainability of the current energy boom and the long-term health of America’s lands and forests.
Today’s policy recommendations from the Department of the Interior are consistent with ideas and goals outlined in “A Blueprint for Balance,” a report published last year by the Center for American Progress and partner organizations. The report proposed a series of policies to ensure that drilling is happening in the right ways and in the right places, to improve mitigation from projects, and to restore balance to the management of public lands.