Green River: BLM stalling city’s expansion plans
BLM cites lack of funding and personnel for delays
October 13, 2005
In an online article published Thursday, October 13, The Green River Star reports that the Green River City Council is frustrated with the BLM’s delays in responding to their concerns about the town’s future growth and need for more space for housing. Green River is land-locked, which limits the city’s ability to expand.
According to the article by Keith Jantz, the Green River City Council wants to expand to the west, but is running into delays from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from lack of staffing and funding to address the city’s concerns and needs.
According to the BLM, the Rock Springs Field Office is not receiving the funding and staffing priority to keep ahead of permits. Adjacent BLM districts and offices are booming with oil and gas energy development and receiving more funding and have more staff positions to handle the increased workload. The Rock Springs BLM field office justified their actions saying the priority is energy development workload, and not much else.
Oil and gas operations on BLM-administered public lands and federal mineral estate produces billions of dollars worth of revenue to the federal government. Of this production, hundreds of millions are paid to the United States Treasury as royalty on these leases. Additionally, bonus bids on new lands offered for competitive oil and gas lease sale and rental on existing leases adds millions more worth of income to the United States.
The city of Green River is just west of Rock Springs along Interstate 80 and about 100 miles south of Pinedale. Wyoming, Western Wyoming and the entire Green River Valley area, have experienced a huge boom over the past five years from oil, natural gas and methane energy development. The influx of workers, demands on local support services, and extremely rapid area growth, have significantly impacted and strained the resources of many communities surrounding the large mineral reserve fields in western Wyoming where extraction and development are occurring.
Many communities and counties are asking hard questions wondering why the federal government isn't trickling down more of the huge federal revenue from mineral development to local BLM offices so they can conduct other routine business and process non-oil & gas related paperwork in a timely fashion.
For the complete Green River Star article, see the link below.
BLM defends agency's activities Story by Keith Jantz, The Green River Star (10/13/05)