Threatened & Endangered Species
Utah believes that the presence of threatened and endangered species in the State need not preclude responsible energy development. Common sense regulation and policy can protect species while at the same time encouraging Utah’s various natural resource industries.
The Office of Energy Development works with its state and federal partners to make sound regulatory and policy recommendations on threatened and endangered species that don’t needlessly hinder economic development in Utah. The Office of Energy Development assists the Governor’s Public Lands Policy Coordination Office (PLPCO) in reviewing and coordinating technical and policy actions that may affect the energy resources of the state.
OED’s Ongoing Work on Economics of Sage Grouse Listing
Impact of BLM Draft EIS for Greater Sage Grouse on Utah’s Oil and Gas Development
Utah estimates the BLM’s Sage Grouse Alternative C plan has the potential to prevent $41.4 Billion in economic development and 211,523 jobs by preventing new leases from being leased and developed. The State also estimates that Alternative C will cause the likely loss of $11.0 Billion and 56,292 jobs from wells on existing leases in BLM’s NEPA and EIS process. The BLM’s Draft EIS will likely prevent approximately $300-$400 Million a year in new well investment and approximately $30-$40 Million in revenues directly to the State of Utah.
Federal leases affected by the 4 mile buffer are greatly underrepresented in BLM’s Appendix R: Oil and Gas Reasonably Foreseeable Development Scenario. BLM estimates that approximately 12,000 acres of existing leases held for production would be made inaccessible. The State believes all existing lease holders have valid and existing rights to develop their federal leases. The State’s analysis using GIS information provided by BLM identifies 636 existing individual leases and 655,868 acres would be affected by the 4 mile buffer around leks.
The state asserts all leases represent existing and valid rights to extract minerals and this should be represented in BLM’s analysis. These 655,868 acres of existing leases, affected by Alternative D, represent over 16% of the 4 million acre decision area, and 338,787 of these acres are on existing federal lease with high oil and gas potential. Not only are existing rights of current lease owners threatened under Alternative D, but Alternative D prevents 190,416 acres of high potential oil and gas from being leased. A 4 mile buffer around a lek will affect over 50 square miles of land or 32,160 acres. Based on standard spacing in Utah of 40 acres, each 4 mile lek buffer could affect 804 potential wells.
Definitions of Data Used in this Analysis:
All information used is based on information and GIS layers provided by Utah’s BLM (https://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/prog/planning/SG_RMP_rev/deis.html) Lek location data was provided by Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources and active lek we classified if there was activity in the past 10 years.
Alternative C: This analysis used Preliminary Priority Management Area were provided by BLM via their website.
Alternative D: For this analysis the State identified leks active is the past 10 years. In Utah there are 468 leks active in the Utah. Then 4 mile buffer around active leks minus the 1,200 ft. average directional and horizontal drilling offsets according to Utah’s DOGM database. Alternative D effective radius for this study was used to be 19,920 ft. or 3.77 miles. A 3.77 mile protected radius around the lek is precludes oil and gas development on 40.54 miles (26,000 acres) of land.
Alternative E1: For this analysis the State identified leks active is the past 10 years. In Utah there are 468 leks active in the Utah. Then 1 mile buffer around active leks minus the 1,200 ft. average directional and horizontal drilling offsets according to Utah’s DOGM database. Alternative E1 effective radius for this study
Existing federal mineral interests and existing federal oil and gas leases were provided by BLM via their website.was used to be 4,080 ft. or 1.7 sq. miles. A 4,080 mile protected radius around the lek is precludes oil and gas development on 1.7 sq. miles (1088 acres) of land.
Potential New Leases were identified as federal mineral interest subtracting out existing federal minerals.