Professional Land Surveyor News: President Proposes $1.1 Billion for BLM in Fiscal Year 2011 to Protect Resources and Manage Uses of Public Lands
President Proposes $1.1 Billion for BLM in Fiscal Year 2011 to Protect Resources and Manage Uses of Public Lands
With a focus on renewable energy development, climate change adaptation, and other key priorities, President Obama today requested $1.1 billion in appropriations for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management in Fiscal Year 2011. This represents an $8.0 million increase from the BLM’s FY 2010 enacted funding level. The President’s request reflects his continuing commitment to be prudent with taxpayer dollars while setting priorities for spending.
“Today’s budget proposal will advance the BLM’s mission of protecting the land’s resources while facilitating environmentally sound use of America’s public lands,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “Under this proposal, we can and will meet the challenges facing our agency in today’s fast-growing West.” Under the President’s proposed budget, the BLM will focus on the following priorities:
New Energy Frontier
The New Energy Frontier initiative recognizes the value of environmentally sound, scientifically grounded development of both renewable and conventional energy resources on the Nation’s public lands. To encourage and facilitate renewable energy development, the President’s FY 2011 BLM budget proposes a $3.0 million increase that builds on the $16.1 million increase for renewable energy provided in FY 2010. The funds would be used to complete environmental studies for solar energy projects in Nevada and potential wind energy zones in Oregon and Nevada. In the conventional energy program, the BLM will focus on implementing oil and gas leasing reforms put forward by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar while placing continued emphasis on oil and gas inspections, environmental enforcement, and production monitoring activities. The budget includes a $2.0 million increase in BLM’s Soil, Water, and Air Management program for air quality monitoring that will be targeted to areas with current or anticipated intensive oil and gas development to help BLM ensure that the energy development complies with environmental requirements and minimizes or addresses potential litigation issues.
The Budget maintains BLM’s oil and gas management program capacity at current levels, with a $3.0 million decrease to reflect the completion of specific Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) studies. In addition, the Budget proposes new fees – estimated to generated $10 million annually – to help offset the cost of BLM’s oil and gas inspection and enforcement activities.